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Secretary Aiming to Reform ‘Visitor Levy’ in the Forthcoming Budget


Secretary Aiming to Reform ‘Visitor Levy’ in the Forthcoming Budget

In a recent update, finance minister Nigel Huddleston cautioned that the probability of a U-turn on the so-called “visitor levy” being announced in the upcoming spring Budget is low.

Huddleston, who supervises the taxation system, elucidated in a communication shared with The Times that reestablishing the former system is impractical owing to the necessity for it to be relevant to tourists from both the European Union and other global regions.

He stressed that any fresh plan, no matter its framework, would necessitate statutory actions and the allocation of time for execution to mitigate the risks of non-compliance and ensure efficacy, in response to an advocate for the visitor levy.

Huddleston highlighted that “the Chancellor places utmost importance on fiscal prudence,” hinting that a new duty-free shopping initiative could potentially subsidize a substantial part of tourist spending that currently occurs without tax exemptions, although no direct benefits would be offered to the public.

These remarks were expressed amidst hopes from retail industry leaders and supporters for Huddleston to reintroduce the incentive for international tourists in the next budget, following his plea to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to evaluate the feasibility of rescinding the decision to abolish it.

The New West End Company and the Association of International Retail (AIR) recently presented documentation to Downing Street challenging the Treasury’s projection that reintroducing the tax exemption would lead to a £2.5 billion reduction in tax revenues.

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