Calls made to abolish air tax

Former mayor and independent Clare councillor Patricia McCarthy has called on the Government to abolish its new air travel tax in a bid to protect hundreds of jobs in Shannon and Dublin airports.

Councillor McCarthy made the call in response to Ryanair’s pledge to reverse its decision to axe services at the airports should the Government decide to abolish the 10 euro tax.

Ryanair’s recently announced its decision to reduce services at the airports with the expected loss of at least 300 jobs.  The low cost carrier has publicly blamed the negative impact of the departure tax on travel bookings as the primary reason for its move.

According to councillor McCarthy, “Whether this is a manufactured excuse for withdrawing services or not, the airline has clearly said it will reverse its decision to axe services and jobs if the tax is abolished. I believe that the benefits for the economy in having these services retained at Shannon and Dublin far outweigh the benefits associated with keeping this tax in place.”

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The Shannon-based public representative said the Government must now immediately clarify whether it intends to remove or at least reduce the tax.

“It is incumbent on Government to explain to the Irish public to what extent the air travel tax is more beneficial to the economy than the significant jobs and revenue generated by the Ryanair services in question. If the Government cannot justify this tax then it should be held accountable for the loss of these jobs,” added councillor McCarthy.