Edinburgh MP accuses UK government of failing travel industry by opposing duty-free shopping on arrival
Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has accused the UK Government of failing the travel industry over its refusal to back duty-free shopping on arrival in the UK.
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Earlier this month, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports lobbied Chancellor Rishi Sunak to permit on-arrival duty free sales after passenger numbers fell by as much as 98 per cent because of lockdown travel restrictions.
Ms Jardine, who is Lib Dem economy spokesperson, was one of 60 MPs who wrote to the Treasury calling for the change which has already been introduced in more than 60 countries, including Australia and all European Economic Area nations.
Travel industry groups claim it would increase passenger spend by between 20-30 per cent.
Ms Jardine previously called for a £50 billion revenue replacement scheme during the 2021 Budget for small businesses in all sectors which would offer monthly grants worth up to 80 per cent of a firm’s fixed costs to offset lost income while they are unable to trade as normal.
Ms Jardine said: “It is disappointing the Treasury is still refusing to see the potential benefits of this scheme and failing to support our tourist industry, which has been one of the hardest hit sectors.
“It is difficult to understand the Government’s reluctance to back something which would be easy to implement, cost-effective and will support jobs at a time when we are trying to boost recovery.
“We have seen this succeed in dozens of countries around the world. Surely if we follow their lead and introduce duty free on arrival, we can make a tangible difference to the UK’s travel sector and wider economy.”