Growing backlash over Jeremy Hunt’s ‘Crazy’ tourist tax: Industry chiefs call for return of VAT-free shopping
Jeremy Hunt faced a fresh backlash from industry chiefs over his ‘crazy’ so-called tourist tax.
Opposition is growing among bosses from the retail industry to hotels, bars and restaurants over the removal of VAT-free shopping for international tourists.
In the latest intervention, the boss of Bicester Village, above, renewed warnings that Hunt’s tax is driving shoppers away from Britain to European rivals.
‘No growth’: The boss of Bicester Village (pictured) renewed warnings that Hunt’s tax is driving shoppers away from Britain to European rivals
James Lambert, who set up the Oxfordshire luxury shopping outlet’s owner Value Retail, said international shopping tourism across Europe has seen an ‘unprecedented’ jump this year.
But, he said, there has been no growth in international shoppers visiting the UK, suggesting the 20 per cent VAT tourists now have to pay has dampened the country’s appeal.
His intervention came days after Kurt Geiger boss Neil Clifford warned that the tax is ‘driving visitors to Paris and Milan’.
Clifford said he was ‘immensely disappointed’ when the UK gave up VAT-free shopping for international tourists.
It was ‘crazy’ to give the green light for British consumers to travel abroad and shop more cheaply.