Tourism and retail are two of Westminster’s most important industries yet the Government has announced that it will axe Tax Free Shopping for overseas visitors from 1 January 2021. This scheme allows people to reclaim the VAT on any goods they buy while in the UK.
The Government’s decision to end Tax Free Shopping will make Westminster a less attractive destination for high-spending business and leisure travellers and hurt many West End businesses, especially hard-pressed sectors like luxury retail and hotels.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough, shadow cabinet member for planning and business said:
“Instead of abolishing Tax Free Shopping, the Government should be extending the scheme to EU visitors as well. Tourism and retail need all the help they can get right now and don’t deserve this kick in the teeth. Why visit London when shopping will be 20% cheaper in Paris?”