East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman Roy Beggs has welcomed today’s announcement from The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP that Air Passenger Duty, which has detrimentally affected NI passengers and Airports, is to be reduced from April 2023.
Roy Beggs MLA, the UUP Infrastructure spokesperson said “It is welcome news that the Chancellor has announced a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD) from April 2023, applicable for flights between airports in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland & Wales.
Roy Beggs said, “NI is heavily reliant on air travel to link families, businesses and assisting tourists travelling from other regions of the UK. APD adds costs to the traveling public and distorted local competition as APD did not apply to flights taking off from Dublin. This reduction in Air Passenger Duty will be welcomed by the travelling public and will help maintain jobs at our local airports”.
The Government have advised that this will reduce the cost of internal UK flights for an average of 9 million passengers each year.
The UUP Assemblyman went on to say “While this announcement is a welcome starting point, I look forward to Sir Peter Hendy’s Union Connectivity review into how we can better connect the United Kingdom of Northern Ireland, England, Scotland & Wales. Investment to the key Scottish A75 and A77 transport corridors and removal of the barriers to East/West trade resulting from the NI Protocol are important to enable the growth of the local economy.
Mr Beggs added “Furthermore, I note that the Government are to increase the Air Passenger Duty for international long haul flights, which will affect less than 5% of aviation passengers. This move will target the source of a majority of C02 emissions which come from international flights, rather than local domestic flights and is to be welcomed with Climate Change commitments in mind.”