Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd
Today, the Welsh Affairs Committee published the findings of its inquiry into the devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) to Wales. The Committee has unanimously recommended the UK Government should hand over full control of APD in Wales to the Welsh Government by 2021.
The Welsh Government has consistently argued there is no justification for Wales being treated differently to Scotland, or Northern Ireland in terms of the devolution of APD. We therefore welcome the Committee’s recognition of the inequity in the devolution process.
There is unanimous support for the devolution of APD from aviation, tourism and business sectors in Wales, and compelling evidence for the economic benefits it could bring, enabling growth in the aviation sector and wider economy. These are important Welsh Government priorities, all the more so in a post-Brexit Wales.
In the event APD is devolved to Wales, the Welsh Government’s decisions on future APD rates would take account of potential environmental impacts, including carbon emissions, in order to meet statutory requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) (2015) and Environment (Wales) 2016 Act. This assessment would be done in the context of which powers were being devolved and the circumstances at the time of any decision by the UK Government on devolution. Any changes proposed would also be subject to full consultation with businesses and the people of Wales.
We welcome the findings of the Committee, and thank it for its work over the course of the inquiry. We now call on the UK Government to respond swiftly to the Committee’s recommendation and fully devolve APD to Wales by 2021.
The report of the Welsh Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the devolution of Air Passenger Duty to Wales can be accessed at the following link: