Wed 3rd Jul 2013
NI Chamber of Commerce welcomes Assembly support for APD Bill
[16 October 2012] Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the Assembly’s support for a Bill proposed by the Finance Minister Sammy Wilson which will set a zero rate of Air Passenger Duty for direct long-haul flights departing from Northern Ireland.
Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor commented:
“The Chamber wishes to acknowledge the work that was done by the Northern Ireland Executive and the Assembly in securing the commitment to devolve Air Passenger Duty (APD) on long-haul services.
“The intention when seeking the devolution of these powers has always been to reduce Northern Ireland’s APD rate to zero in line with the commitment set out by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
“APD is sending the wrong message to investors and exporters and acts as a disincentive. A zero rate of Air Passenger Duty will ensure the economic development of Northern Ireland particularly in the three areas pinpointed in the Executive’s Programme for Government – exports, investment and tourism.
“If we are to export our way out of recovery and encourage investment we need to be on an equal playing field with the Republic of Ireland.
“APD damages businesses and makes our country less well connected. It penalizes businesses who need to fly to establish trade links and export their goods, especially when our businesses are operating in an ever more competitive and hostile international market.
“Whilst there is a cost to the Executive through the devolution of this tax and reducing its rate to zero, it is an investment which can bring returns in the longer term.”