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Air Passenger Duty vote a test of Welsh First Minister's authority


Plaid Cymru will this afternoon (Wednesday) call a vote to devolve control over Air passenger Duty, as recommended by the Silk Commission. A poll by a national newspaper this week found that 78% of participants supported devolving control over APD to Wales.

First Minister Carwyn Jones is reported as having expressed disappointment that APD is yet to be devolved to Wales. A Welsh Labour Government spokesperson responded to the new poll by saying the following:

“We will continue to put forward the strong case for it (APD) to be devolved in the hope the UK Government will eventually listen to us and the overwhelming majority of Welsh public who support this move, as reflected in this poll.”

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards who will be leading the debate said:

“This is a test of the authority and credibility of the First Minister.

“He has repeatedly said that the Labour-run Welsh Government are in favour of devolving APD. Today’s vote will show if his London bosses and Labour MPs based in Wales are listening.

“If his own party colleagues don’t take him seriously, why should the people of Wales?

“Last year Plaid Cymru used the Finance Bill as a vehicle for devolving APD. Labour MPs abstained. Tory and Lib Dem MPs voted against. The devolution of APD as recommended by the all party Silk Commission has been omitted from the Wales Bill before Westminster. That is why we are pushing another vote today during the Finance Bill.

“Plaid Cymru is united in the view that the only way to drive forward the Welsh economy is to empower the Welsh Government with as many job creation levers as possible.

“Whilst we speak with one voice, our opponents say one thing in Wales and act in complete contrast in Westminster. It’s high time their hypocrisy was exposed.”

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