Priti Patel MP calls for 'outright abolition' of Air Passenger Duty


Friday, October 19, 2018

Conservative MP Priti Patel has called Air Passenger Duty "regressive" and says the government should strive for "outright abolition" of the tax.

The politician told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer that the tax has had a "distortionary and negative" impact on tourism and smaller, regional airports.

"APD is regressive," Ms Patel said. "It has an impact in terms of wages, salary, people pay more for their flights, so being more open-minded, really reducing or even freezing or cutting APD would be a really good start.



"The ambition should be outright abolition, but in the medium term a reduction provides the opportunity to assess the merit of an expanded route network gains in employment and a bit more money, to be blunt, in people's pockets."

APD was introduced in 1994 as a way to pay for the environmental costs of air travel, and to make passengers think twice before travelling.

There are two tax bands, which cover short-haul flights and long-haul flights.


'A renaissance of the regions'

Priti Patel. Image: Getty

Ms Patel claimed abolishing the tax could create around 40,000 jobs in northern Ireland alone over the next 30 years.

"Britain post-Brexit we have the chance to almost have a renaissance of the regions, stimulate economic growth around the country, support regions airports and businesses and start growing new routes with more viable and lower viability threshholds in terms of taxation," she said.

""It's gone up and up and up and now is the time [to reduce APD], particularly post-Brexit.

"There have been many reports that have shown if you abolish APD you could create 40,000 new jobs over the next 30 years in northern Ireland.

"The economic impact this would have across the country would be positive."