This morning I attended Cardiff Airport’s annual report briefing to Members of Parliament. Cardiff Airport, which is publicly owned by the Welsh Labour Government, has gone from strength to strength, showing a nearly 50% growth since it was taken into public ownership, along with new airlines and routes every year.
Allowing the rates of Air Passenger Duty (the tax applied to the price of flight tickets) to be decided here in Wales, for Wales, rather than controlled centrally is a fantastic opportunity for the Welsh Labour Government to incentivise new and longer-haul airlines to fly from Cardiff. This in turn would add to the Cardiff and South Wales economy, bringing tourism to the region and enabling more Welsh passengers to jet off abroad straight from Wales.
The recently-passed Wales Act 2017 was a missed opportunity to devolve responsibility for Air Passenger Duty to Wales but I am continuing to campaign for this as it will bring huge benefits to us here.
As usual, the Leader of the House responded to my question with a suggestion that I ask again in Treasury Questions. I’ll keep standing up for Wales on this issue, even when the Secretary of State doesn’t seem to want to, and my Labour colleagues and I won’t be letting the UK Government off the hook.
Watch or read the exchange below:
Jo Stevens MP
Thank you Mr Speaker. This week Cardiff Airport announced its 2017 results showing a nearly 50% growth since it was taken into public ownership by our Welsh Labour Government. Can we have a debate in government time on reform of Air Passenger Duty so that our publically-owned airport can continue to thrive.
Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons
Well first may I congratulate Cardiff Airport on its increasing passenger numbers, that’s great news. And certainly, always, the Treasury will be looking at ways to improve economic growth in the four nations in this great country of ours and I do encourage her to raise it at the next Treasury Questions.