Varadkar refuses to scrap €3 tax
CONSUMERS will have to keep paying the Government €3 every time they want to go abroad after Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar scrapped his own plans to do away with the travel tax, writes Aideen Sheehan.
He said airlines had not given solid commitments on reinstating cancelled routes and capacity, which were the preconditions announced in May's Jobs Initiative for scrapping the €3 tax.
"New routes offered were predominantly to Mediterranean hotspots, which would actually have taken more people out of the country than they would have brought in," he added.
But Ryanair claimed it had given a "solid commitment" to deliver up to five million extra passengers a year over five years. A spokesman said the majority of the new routes were to the UK and other non-Mediterranean European destinations.
Tourism Ireland estimates there were 500,000 airline seats a week to Ireland in summer 2008, compared to 424,000 now.