Cut air tax in Wales, recommends a new Government report
According to a new Government report from the cross-party Silk Commission, the National Assembly for
have the opportunity to ditch Air Passenger Duty (APD) on long-haul flights. The Silk Commission has
recommended delegating a series of taxation powers to the Assembly, including APD on long-haul flights for
passengers departing from British airports.
Cardiff International Airport issued a statement; “We welcome the report from the Silk Commission, in
the recommendation to devolve responsibility for long-haul APD to Wales. The ability to control long-haul
APD rates is just one tool in the armoury we have to improve air passenger services to and from Wales, and
increase passenger traffic.”
Much criticised by industry personnel and the average British Family, as well as foreign
holidaymakers to the
British shores who have to pay the tax to return to their own country, thereby having a detrimental effect on
the economies of countries that rely on tourism, this latest Government report will certainly heighten the UK’s
overall campaign to have APD scrapped, particularly on long-haul flights out of the country.
After the recent rise in April of this year, a family of four flying to Europe now has to pay £52 in
tax; if you
are travelling to more far out countries, the US or the Caribbean, your tax bill could be as much as £324, or
higher if you are visiting Australia… and that’s just Economy class! APD has a knock-on effect on
airlines, too, who think twice before launching a new route.
APD has seriously affected passenger footfall through Britain’s regional airports; in 2006, 2 million
passed through Cardiff airport – APD was just £5 per person for flights to Europe, and £20 per person for
countries outside of Europe; in 2011, 1.2 million passengers travelled via Cardiff airport… a significant
reduction, however how much of that is due to the financial crisis from 2009 is not reported.
But the Silk Commission’s recommendations haven’t been so welcome from neighbouring airports, with
that a cut in APD would threaten jobs, growth and connectivity in the South West. Bristol Airport went as
far as saying, “Even when restricted to direct long-haul flights, a price advantage in Wales would put vital
services from nearby English airports to European hubs at risk and severely undermine the business case for
long-haul services from Bristol to the USA and Middle East.”
Whatever the final outcome, without doubt the Commission’s report and recommendations and increased
the hornet’s nest!
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