Scottish Daily Mail

FORTNUMS’ BOSS BLASTS PLAN TO CAN­CEL DUTY FREE

- Taxes · Luxury Living · Business · European Union · United Kingdom

FORT­NUM & Ma­son’s boss has urged the Gov­ern­ment to drop its ‘crazy plan’ to can­cel duty-free shopping.

Ewan Ven­ters, the lux­ury re­tailer’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, warned pro­pos­als to scrap tax-free shopping for over­seas vis­i­tors at the end of the year will cause more Bri­tish re­tail­ers to go to the wall.

In­ter­na­tional non-EU vis­i­tors to the UK can claim a re­fund for the VAT they pay on most lux­ury goods.

Speak­ing on Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gramme, Ven­ters ( pic­tured) said: ‘I would urge the Gov­ern­ment to can­cel this crazy plan about re­mov­ing the priv­i­leges to in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors get­ting tax back on lux­ury pur­chases, which is go­ing to hap­pen from Jan­uary 1 next year.’

The pol­icy, com­bined with coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions, could see a third of High Street names dis­ap­pear over the next year, he warned.

Days ago, the Of­fice for Bud­get Re­spon­si­bil­ity (OBR) cal­cu­lated that can­celling the tax break would only save £195m in the first year – far less than the £500m the Trea­sury had ini­tially fore­cast.

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