News Tourism & Hospitality

Tax-free shopping deserves a second look


When the chancellor cancelled most of the proposals in the poorly-received former Growth Plan, he calmed the markets. But he also threw away one growth measure that had been widely welcomed — the reintroduction of tax-free shopping.

Restoring tax-free shopping for international visitors was set to deliver a multi-billion pound boost to Britain’s tourism, hospitality and retail sectors; the very businesses that had suffered most from the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Instead it was swept away, with the chancellor claiming it would save £2 billion annually — a figure that the Treasury arrived at by estimating the VAT refunded in a scheme that would have, for the first time, included visitors from the EU.

However, it now appears that this decision was made using both incorrect and



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