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Parties must let us know their stance on APD

Published 13/01/2016

As we approach the next general election to the NI Assembly, the various political parties have a responsibility to let us know what is their economic policy.

One such issue is Air Passenger Duty as this week Ryanair has confirmed it would invest £206m, create a number of new air routes from Northern Ireland and create 750 new jobs now if Stormont abolished APD.

However, this would result in a reduction of £55m in the block grant transferred from the Treasury to Stormont.

The MLAs have said no. Instead they prefer to reduce corporation tax to 12.5% which will increase the profits of existing profit-making companies, result in a reduction of the block grant by £300m, and only possibly create 25,000 new jobs - not now - but after 25 years.

Surely there is a compromise. Cut corporation tax to a level which would reduce the loss of block grant from £300m to £245m. And with the saving of the £55m, abolish APD so that there is an immediate creation of 750 new jobs, increased tourism into Northern Ireland and cheaper holidays for local people abroad.

We deserve to be told by each party what its APD policy is before we decide how to vote.

Lord Kilclooney

Armagh City

Belfast Telegraph

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