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Chancellor urged to clarify economic case for new South East England airport capacity

Published: Thursday, 4th February 2016

The chair of the Commons Treasury Committee has taken the unusual step of urging the Chancellor to clarify key aspects of the Government’s economic case for the expansion of the UK’s airport capacity.

Andrew Tyrie MP has written to Osborne complaining that the economic case advanced by the independent Airports Commission in its main report published last year was “opaque in a number of respects”.

The Conservative backbencher has also grumbled that a series of 14 detailed parliamentary questions about aspects of the economic case tabled in November last year remained largely unanswered.

Tyrie’s letter to Osborne said: “The decision on airport capacity is crucial for the future of the British economy. It therefore cannot be left to the Department for Transport and you will need to take the lead. The Airports Commission did not publish the information that I have requested in their final report, nor in any of the supporting documents.”

Tyrie added: “A decision as controversial as this, one that has bedeviled past Governments, in one way or another, for decades, requires as much transparency as reasonably possible for the basis of the decision.

“There is no excuse for not providing it. So this work needs to be done, and published, as soon as possible, and at least three months before any decision is taken.”

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Roger Milne