THE WHAT? The British Beauty Council has backed calls for the UK government to reinstate VAT-free shopping for international tourists amid claims that the re-introduction of the scheme could bring the treasury revenues of £350 million each year.
THE DETAILS VAT-free shopping was scrapped as the UK left the European Union before being reinstated by Kwasi Kwarteng in 2022 only to be scrapped once more by current Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.
THE WHY? Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer at the British Beauty Council, explains, “To say that every additional pound counts for many businesses at present is not an understatement. The Council has therefore called on the Treasury to reinstate this measure for tourists coming to the UK. This will not only help retail directly but also wider industries such as spas and salons, bars and restaurants, theatres and tourist attractions. Evidence suggests that the full impact of the policy on Treasury revenues would be a net positive of £350m each year, so for us, it’s an easy-win measure for the Government to introduce which would really ease the current burden on businesses and show the rest of the world that the UK is open to visitors.”
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