Sunak’s tourist tax could cost 2,000 Heathrow jobs
Heathrow could lose 2,000 retail jobs because of Rishi Sunak’s ‘tourist tax’.
The airport made the startling warning yesterday as anger at Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to withdraw VAT refunds for foreign travellers hit a crescendo.
Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the decision threatened to be the ‘final nail’ in the coffin for struggling businesses that rely on tourists.
Heathrow airport has warned Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to withdraw VAT refunds for foreign travellers could cost it 2,000 retail jobs
Heathrow is still reeling from the collapse in international tourism and a recovery that has seen several false starts.
Passenger numbers were still down by 88 per cent in November due to the second UK lockdown.
The business also announced it would shut Terminal 4 until the end of 2021 due to low demand.
Holland-Kaye said: ‘Recent announcements, such as the tourist tax, could be the final nail in the coffin for struggling businesses that rely on inbound tourists.
Brexit was meant to be about taking back control to make the UK more competitive. The tourist tax the Government wants to implement will do just the opposite.’
The move will also hit outbound UK tourists, whose savings on duty- free products will be removed for everything except cigarettes and alcohol.
MPs predict 40,000 jobs will go across the High Street, while economists have put the total economic damage at up to £3.5billion.
The Treasury says removing the tax will save £1.4billion per year by 2025, and only reduce passenger numbers by 30,000.
The airport is challenging the Government’s decision in the High Court with a judicial review, which will be heard in February.