10 July 2018
East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has told a Westminster debate that APD is a clear barrier to economic growth in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK. The DUP MP secured a debate on Air Passenger Duty this morning and welcomed confirmation from the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Robert Jenrick that a response to the call for evidence on APD is expected in the Budget later this year.
Speaking after the debate the DUP MP said, “The Confidence and Supply agreement between the DUP and Conservative Party included provision for a review into Air Passenger Duty and tourism VAT in Northern Ireland.
That consultation has now concluded and whilst it was specific to Northern Ireland, this is an issue that impacts all parts of the United Kingdom. Air Passenger Duty is an economic drag. It stands out as one of the very few taxes or charges where more revenue will flow to the Treasury through its abolition than through its retention. Further to that it has been estimated that scrapping APD would lead to an immediate boost of 0.5% GDP and the potential for 61,000 extra jobs across the United Kingdom within 5 years.
In Northern Ireland whilst we have seen an 11% increase in passengers through our airports, this is roughly half of the UK average and a long way behind Dublin where 1.2million of the 9million extra passengers flying from that airport have come from Northern Ireland.
Air travel is vital for Northern Ireland in terms of our economy, the tourism industry and our connectivity to the rest of the world. I am delighted that the Treasury has confirmed there will be a response to the call for evidence in the Budget later this year. Whilst the campaign has been something of a ‘long haul’, I believe the arguments against APD are overwhelming and hope Treasury will take the opportunity to give Northern Ireland this vital economic boost.”