The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Gavin Newlands, has written to the bosses of the biggest retailers on Glasgow Airport to question them on their policy on airside VAT-free shopping.Retailers are currently allowed to levy VAT at the zero rate on sales when supplying to people leaving on flights to destinations outside the EU.
It was reported last summer that several retailers were not passing on these discounts they receive on VAT over to their customers, despite forcing them to show their boarding passes.
HM Treasury announced a review into the practice at the end of last year. Gavin has raised this with the UK government through Parliamentary Questions, asking about the progress of the review.
Gavin has written to the bosses of Boots, WHSmith, Accessorize and Dixons Travel. He said: “I am writing to these organisations to find out whether they are passing on the VAT relief to tourists who are travelling outside the EU.”
“As a local MP, I am obviously keen to learn whether this VAT relief is in effect at shops in Glasgow Airport; however, I am equally concerned about whether this relief if offered throughout UK airports.”
“If these shops are pocketing the savings themselves instead of passing it to their customers while forcing them to dig out their boarding passes at the checkout, I want to know why. I also want to know whether they are planning to change their policies.”
“I have also asked questions from the Chancellor regarding the review he announced at the end of last year. I want to know what possible changes the Treasury are planning to introduce, especially as we are coming to the busy summer period and thousands of people will be flying out to their holidays from Glasgow Airport and other airports across the country. These people will want to know if they will be asked to show their boarding passes when shopping and if so, whether any savings will be passed to them.”