Wilson: If only DUP and SF would match Ryanair commitment

The Conservative East Belfast candidate Neil Wilson has repeated his party’s call for the abolition of Air Passenger Duty. 

“Ryanair’s announcement of new routes is very welcome – we need more routes from both George Best Belfast City and Belfast International airports.”

“Northern Ireland is on the periphery of Europe and faces considerable physical barriers to access. Air Passenger Duty is a serious constraint on efforts to increase exports of goods and services and to our ambitions to grow our tourism economy.”

 “With the Republic (which has no APD) and Scotland (where cuts in APD and its eventual abolition have been suggested) in close proximity radical action is required to bolster the airline and airport economy in NI.”

 “A £4m fund has been suggested but is totally inadequate. It is mere gesture politics from an Executive that talks of re-balancing the economy but fails to take radical action. In contrast Ryanair get out there and create opportunities.  But perhaps that’s why Jonathan Bell is a Minister in a failing regional government and Michael O’Leary is CEO of a highly successful business.”

 “The Conservative Party would abolish Air Passenger Duty at an estimated cost of £60m per annum. It is a tough decision as the money would have to be raised elsewhere but we have to take radical measures to give our businesses the chance to reach new markets and to encourage tourists to visit us."