Irish shoppers could save hundreds on big ticket items after UK VAT-free decision

Irish Mirror   23/09/2022 23:07

Irish people could be set to save hundreds of euro on big ticket items if VAT-free shopping for international tourists is introduced in the UK.

The new proposal by UK finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng would bring back sales tax free shopping for overseas visitors to boost the country's flagging retail sector.

Shoppers on the hunt for luxury items could come flocking to the British high street to avail of an effective 20 per cent discount.

And based on our close proximity to Britain, Irish tourists are in a prime position to make some of the biggest savings.

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Expensive gadgets such as laptops and smartphones as well as things like watches, jewellery and designer clothes would become much cheaper to buy in England, Scotland or Wales rather then buying them at home.

According to the Irish Independent, Irish visitors to the UK will be able to buy a new iPhone 14 for €987 (£879.20) rather than €1,237 (£1,099) - a saving of €250.

The more expensive the purchase, the higher the saving with a saving of around €18,000 to be made when buying a luxury Hublot men’s watch retailing at €93,000 (£83,000), but down to €75,000 (£66,400) with the VAT-free discount.

The savings would be claimed back in Vat refunds when tourists leave the UK.

However, Northern Ireland would not be included in the proposal meaning that people in the Republic of Ireland could not simply drive over the border to avail of the cheaper prices.

Mr Kwarteng told parliament during the presentation of a mini-budget on Friday: "Britain welcomes millions of tourists every year, and I want our high streets and airports, our ports and our shopping centres, to feel the economic benefit. So we have decided to introduce VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors,"

It has not yet been announced when the VAT-free shopping will come into effect, but it will likely be brought in some time in 2024.

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