Air Passenger Duty (APD) is having a “detrimental impact” on the Northern Ireland economy and should be scrapped, a government report has found.
Following an extensive enquiry, the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has recommended APD be reduced to zero.
Laurence Robertson MP, chair of the committee, said: "If the current tax rate is not addressed as a matter of urgency, the implications for Northern Ireland are deeply troubling."
He said witnesses to the inquiry highlighted “serious concerns”, including Northern Ireland’s reliance on air travel, and the fact it shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland, which will soon be abolishing air duty.
Northern Ireland is reliant on investment in business and tourism, the report concluded, and if APD is abolished the country “stands a chance” of being able to compete with its neighbour.
“We also recognise that for many people there is a personal impact in terms of being able to visit family living in the rest of the UK and in the US,” added Robertson.
While admitting the Treasury is unlikely to remove APD across the whole of the UK, the committee said local measures must be considered to mitigate the local effects of the tax on Northern Ireland.