Dee Corsi: ‘Jeremy Hunt must bring back tax-free shopping in autumn statement’
Ahead of the Autumn Statement, our Chief Executive, Dee Corsi, penned an article in Retail Week, outlining why the reinstatement of tax-free shopping is a simple, but critical measure the Chancellor can take to put British businesses back on an equal footing with European counterparts, and ensure their success in years to come.
We know that the absence of tax-free shopping continues to act as a drag on meaningful growth, undermining the U.K.’s global reputation as retail and leisure destination. Our own festive forecasts confirmed that we cannot afford to be complacent in this regard; with Brits still feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, it will be international shoppers driving marginal year-on-year growth for West End businesses this Christmas.
However, contrary to the Treasury’s assertions, this is not just a London issue. Many British businesses with flagships in the West End have also invested in sizeable manufacturing hubs across the regions, making them important national employers. With businesses set to face additional economic headwinds in the New Year, including potential business rate rises, the Chancellor must do all he can to ease their burden. Returning tax-free shopping would be one of the greatest gifts the British economy could receive this Christmas. We would urge the Chancellor not to delay any longer.