13 APRIL 2015
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Prime Minister David Cameron has told the Newcastle-based Northern Echo that a list of options would be drawn up within months of an election victory, to examine how to vary rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD) and conceded that there will be “unfair tax competition” for airports in the north-east of England if Scotland abolishes Air Passenger Duty.
Mr Cameron added: “There will be a discussion paper in the summer that will look at APD rates within England, variation of rates and support for regional airports.” (See Manston's political fight in this issue)
He reportedly said that a lower APD rate in the region is a “positive suggestion” and that “we will do what’s necessary to make sure that England’s regional airports can succeed.”
Cameron said: “We are not going to accept a situation where there’s unfair tax competition. I’m very keen to make sure that Newcastle Airport has a bright future and I think it does.
Last month, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill warned that airlines – as well as huge numbers of passengers – will desert Newcastle Airport if Scotland slashes its taxes.
And he admitted the Government was struggling to find a solution to that threat, telling the House of Commons Transport Select Committee: “We are pretty much limited by EU competition rules.” See also Manston Airport in this issue. View Northern Echo story
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