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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Highland MP Leads VAT Campaign Ahead of Spring Budget

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The SNP’s Economy Spokesperson, Drew Hendry MP, has urged the Chancellor to use the Spring Budget to revitalise struggling Town and City centres with ‘VAT free streets’ and boost tourism by reintroducing the reduced rate of VAT for the hospitality sector and VAT-free shopping for international visitors.

It comes after the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Shona Robison MSP, wrote to the Chancellor outlining the Scottish Government’s priorities ahead of the UK Spring Budget – stating that changes to VAT should be part of Hunt’s economic plan. 

Earlier this month, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses and Heathrow Airport launched a campaign calling for the Chancellor to re-establish tax free shopping for tourists – a move which could provide a £1.5bn boost to the economy.

Hendry proposes a targeted reduction in VAT to create mini enterprise zones within town centres.

These reductions could reduce VAT or even establish VAT-free zones in the areas most in need, encouraging investment and consumer spending.

Commenting, the SNP’s Economy Spokesperson, Drew Hendry MP said:

“The tourism and hospitality sector has suffered massively since the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Coupled with the impact of Brexit, things have not been easy.

“The Scottish Government is doing what it can to support businesses, including removing rates for 100,000 small businesses with the small business bonus, bringing in the ‘New Deal’ for business, and encouraging people to support their neighbourhood enterprises with the ‘Shop Local’ campaign.

“However, more must be done from the UK government who continue to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the calls from the hospitality sector.

“This Spring Budget offers the Chancellor the perfect opportunity to address the key issues with VAT which, in turn, would help boost both Scotland and the UK’s economy. 

“At the next general election, it is only the SNP that will stand up for the business and hospitality sector, and ensure they receive the support they deserve.”

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