Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay said two government departments run by the DUP are delaying a report that looks at the north’s air connectivity and that the opposition to devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) is holding back local tourism.
The North Antrim MLA and Chair of the Assembly’s Finance Committee said:
“The Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment and the Finance & Personnel Department were to conduct a joint report that would consider the issue of air connectivity.
“The Finance Committee were told that this would be completed before end of last year yet we still have no report.
“Since the Dublin government’s decision to abolish APD the North is at a disadvantage compared to the rest of Ireland.
“This has created barriers to developing both tourist and business travel and indeed APD charged here is already one of the highest in the world.
“The power to lower or raise and indeed abolish APD should be devolved to the Assembly. Doing away with APD will lead to the creation of new jobs, increased tourism and help drive overall economic growth. However, giving more power to elected representatives here to improve the economy appears to frighten the DUP.”