UK Government won’t devolve air passenger duty to Wales “to protect Bristol Airport”

(Title Image: Wales Online)

The UK Government has formally ruled out devolving air passenger duty (APD) to Wales despite the recommendations of the UK Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Committee published earlier this year, which were in favour of devolving the levy by 2021. In July, AMs unanimously backed the devolution of the levy.

The UK Government’s main concern would be the supposed negative impact devolution of the levy would have on Bristol Airport – claims which were dismissed during the inquiry itself.

The Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, David TC Davies MP (Con, Monmouth), pledged to continue to pursue the matter and was unconvinced by the reasoning of the UK Government.

The Welsh Government have long indicated a desire to reduce APD for long-haul flights. Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans (Lab, Gower) said the decision “defied logic”, adding that, “We know there is unanimous support from across the aviation, tourism and business sectors in Wales for APD to be devolved and we will continue to press the UK government to change its position.”

APD is devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland.