The Government has responded to the Welsh Affairs Committee’s report on Air Passenger Duty by rejecting the Committee’s recommendation to devolve APD to Wales, claiming that it is not an issue of trust in the Welsh Government.
Committee's recommendations for APD devolution dismissed
Simon Clarke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, has responded to the Welsh Affairs Committee’s report on Air Passenger Duty (APD). The letter dismisses the Committee’s recommendation to devolve APD to Wales claiming that “the UK government remains concerned about the competitive impact of introducing tax competition within a single aviation market.”
However, the Committee’s unanimously agreed report outlined compelling arguments for devolution of APD to Wales including that it could unlock the potential of Cardiff airport, boost the Welsh brand and promote economic growth.
The Chair of the Committee, David T.C. Davies MP, who commented at the time the report was published that he was “not often persuaded by arguments for devolution” has expressed disappointment at the Government’s refusal to devolve APD:
“The Government has only offered a flimsy excuse for why APD should not be devolved to Wales despite it being devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland. I find the Government’s suggestion that it is ‘not a question of trust’, but rather of shared aviation markets, very unconvincing.
I am disappointed that the Government has not recognised the significant arguments my Committee heard in favour of devolving APD to Wales, and I know that many others will feel similarly. My Committee will continue to press the Government to create a fairer tax system throughout the UK by devolving APD to Wales.”