Belfast Telegraph

Ulster air passenger tax to be cut

The Government is to cut air passenger duty for Northern Ireland in a bid to "ensure local airports remain competitive", it has been announced.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Chloe Smith said in a written ministerial statement: "From 1 November, 2011 the rate of APD for direct long-haul passengers departing from airports in Northern Ireland will be cut to the short-haul rate, which is currently £12 in economy and £24 in business and first class.

She added the measure was a response to the "unique challenge" facing Northern Ireland and was designed to "ensure local airports remain competitive, demonstrating the Government's commitment to stimulating and rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy".

The Government, she said, was also launching a process for the devolution of aspects of APD to the Northern Ireland Assembly to "provide a lasting solution to the unique circumstances Northern Ireland faces".

Ms Smith added: "Devolution of APD to Northern Ireland will require primary legislation. The precise scope of devolution will be agreed in close consultation with the Northern Ireland Executive."

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