Sajid Javid today joined 100 business leaders to call for the return of duty-free shopping for foreign tourists.
The former chancellor, who also served as business and culture secretary, said restoring VAT-exempt purchases could help grow the economy.
“It would be nice to find a way to remove that, but I say that deliberately and very carefully because I know, as a former chancellor, that you have to make sure you get enough income to pay for the services that people rightly expect,” he told Nick. LBC Ferrari.
‘But I think if you can remove it, you can actually generate more revenue and help grow the economy.
“And I don’t think any other country in Europe, for example, has a similar tax on tourist spending, so I think it will be good to find a way to eliminate it.”
Former chancellor Sajid Javid (pictured), who also served as business and culture secretary, said restoring VAT-exempt shopping could help grow the economy.
His comments came as even more business bosses added their names to a letter to Jeremy Hunt demanding he restore tax-free shopping.
Organized by hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, the letter has been signed by 100 of the biggest names in retail, hospitality and tourism. They argue that the cost of the 20 per cent VAT refund outweighs the benefits of encouraging more visitors to Britain.
The latest signatories include the property director of the historic Burlington Arcade in Piccadilly and the chief executive of Edinburgh-based jewelers Hamilton & Inch.
In the letter, business bosses call the removal of the VAT refund for visitors an “extraordinary own goal” but say reinstating it would be a win for both businesses and taxpayers.
Research suggests restoring duty-free shopping would provide a much-needed £4.1bn boost to GDP and support 78,000 jobs.
And despite the Treasury claiming it would cost it £2bn in lost tax, experts have estimated that there would in fact be a net gain to the Treasury of at least £350m a year.
The Mail’s Scrap the Tourist Tax campaign has been launched in support of businesses demanding the Government think again.
Former Prime Minister Liz Truss, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey today added their voices to the clamor, although the Labor Party refused to do so.
John O’Connell of the Taxpayers Alliance today gave his support to the campaign, saying: ‘The tourist tax is a punitive charge and is not seen anywhere in the EU.
‘In typical Treasury thinking, this tax looks good on the balance sheet, but hits the real economy hard by encouraging tourists and their wallets to go elsewhere.
“The Government should give our economy a boost by reinstating the retail export plan.”