Loss of tourist tax perk ‘is catastrophe for retail jobs’
UK retailers and manufacturers have warned the chancellor that scrapping tax-free shopping for international tourists is putting thousands of jobs in jeopardy.
The retail scheme, which allowed visitors from non-European Union countries to recover the VAT on purchases, was scrapped in 2021. The move has caused a storm in retail and tourism circles with Harrods, Marks & Spencer, VisitBritain and the owners of the designer retail outlet Bicester Village in Oxfordshire urging Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak to think again.
There were indications yesterday that ministers may be considering reversing the decision: shares in retailers including Burberry and JD Sports rose as investors acted ahead of a possible U-turn.
Hugh Seaborn, chief executive of Cadogan, the main landlord in Chelsea and Knightsbridge in west