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Hamilton must seek end to Air Passenger Duty - McKay

15 October, 2013

Following the announcement in the Dublin Budget today that the Irish government intends to abolish Air Transport Duty (APD) Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Daithí McKay has called on Stormont Finance Minister Simon Hamilton to follow suit.

Daithí McKay said:

“Following this decision today by Dublin to abolish APD the impact on the North’s airports will be enormous. It is now more imperative than ever that Simon Hamilton enter into immediate discussion with the British Treasury to have it removed here also.

“The present differential in APD north and south has created barriers to developing both tourist and business travel at our regional airports but this development will only act to further hinder potential future growth.

“Immediate action is required to level the playing field and to stimulate aviation growth – in turn this will ultimately lead to the creation of new jobs, increased tourism and help drive overall economic growth.

“APD charged here is already one of the highest in the world. Before this announcement today Air Travel Tax [the South’s APD equivalent] was €3 per passenger, whereas for flights departing our regional airports for Britain for example the rate is £13 per passenger - over 400% higher. This creates an unfair market situation, is inhibiting our ability to attract new carriers and routes and is unsustainable.

“While some steps were taken to reduce APD for direct long haul routes from here, what we now need is urgent action to abolish, APD on all flights leaving our airports.”

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