The boss of Faberge has joined calls for the UK to scrap the so-called ‘tourist tax’, which a new study has claimed is costing the UK over £10bn a year.
Faberge chief Anthony Lindsay has urged for the return of tax-free shopping after a recent study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) said the UK was losing out on £10.7bn in GDP due to the scrapping of the scheme, outweighing the £2.3bn gained in VAT receipts.
“Tax-free shopping is offered in all countries within the European Union, which means making a purchase in the UK is now 20 per cent higher than many of our close neighbours,” the boss of the luxury egg maker said, as reported in The Times.
“The UK has always been a global destination for retail. We are the home of some of the world’s finest stores, but we are now losing our sparkle as a tourist destination. We demand the government listens and takes the right course of action by bringing back tax-free shopping,” he continued.
Influenced by the wide variety of designer brands and luxury retail companies in the city, London has gained a luxurious reputation for shopping, attracting tourists from all over the globe into the capital.
However, businesses have expressed fear that customers are instead opting for trips to other fashion capitals such as Milan or Paris since the removal of VAT-free shopping in 2021.
Faberge joined brands including Burberry, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges and Jimmy Choo in calling for the tax to be scrapped in a letter addressed to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt signed by 350 business leaders.
The letter, organised by hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, called the scrapping of the scheme a “spectacular own goal” for the UK economy.
Campaigners have also argued employability rates would benefit from the re-introduction of tax-free shopping for tourists, with the CEBR claiming the scrapping of the tax would have supported 201,000 jobs in 2023.