“The UK government must urgently change its position on devolving air passenger duty to Wales” – Finance Minister

7 Mar 2019 10:35 AM

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans will today make the case for the devolution of air passenger duty (APD) to Wales as she provides evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee.

APD has been fully devolved to Scotland and in part to Northern Ireland but it remains under the control of the UK government in Wales. 

The Welsh Government has long argued it should have powers over APD, enabling it to attract more flights to Wales. 

But UK ministers have said it would give Cardiff an unfair advantage over other regional UK airports. These concerns have been debunked by independent research. 

Speaking ahead of her session at the Welsh Affairs Committee, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“Despite the Welsh Government’s repeated calls to the UK Government about APD, a decision has still not been made. Scotland, Northern Ireland and England all control APD to different extents – there is no justification for Wales being treated differently.

“There is unanimous support for the devolution of APD to Wales from aviation, tourism and business sectors in Wales and it’s time the UK government stopped stalling and changed its position as a matter of urgency.”

Last month the Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates submitted a statement from the Council for Economic Development to the Welsh Affairs Committee, which is conducting an inquiry about APD, in support of devolving the tax to Wales.  

Ken Skates said:

“The UK government's failure to devolve APD continues to place unjustifiable constraints on our ability to promote Wales to overseas markets and support growth in the aviation sector and wider economy.

“We want the UK government to stop seeing devolution of APD as a barrier and more of an opportunity. Devolution would be a win for Cardiff Airport; for Wales and for the UK.”

The devolution of APD to Wales is consistent with the UK government’s policy of supporting the aviation sector to make a significant contribution to the economic growth of the country and the UK economy and aligns with other taxes, which have been devolved to Wales.