Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine is backing a campaign to generate and extra £50 million for the economy by allowing duty-free shopping on arrival in the UK, including those at Edinburgh airport.
Christine met with members of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), who have launched the campaign to persuade the UK Government that it is missing a vital source of revenue and job support.
Since the UK left the European Union, the UK Government increased the amount of duty-free product that can be brought into the country, but Christine believes this is encouraging people to spend their money elsewhere, rather than in Edinburgh.
The AOA suggests that arrivals duty-free shopping could increase sales by over £100 million every year, following successful rollouts in Norway and Switzerland.
She has signed a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, calling for a change in duty-free regulations to create “hundreds of new jobs”.
“Allowing duty-free shops in arrivals would be a much-needed boost for our local and the UK economies by encouraging people to spend here rather than abroad.
“It allows people returning from holidays abroad to pick up products closer to home, rather than carrying extra bags on their flights, bringing millions of pounds into the UK economy.
“Similarly, people arriving for a visit would be encouraged to buy here and we have seen the positive impact that has had in countries like Norway and Switzerland where duty free on arrival is the norm.
“New shops would also be a fantastic opportunity for Edinburgh’s economy, by creating hundreds of new retail jobs for the local community at our Airport.
“That is why I have written to the Chancellor with MPs of all parties, and I hope he will use the Budget on March 15th to make this change and help our economy grow.”
Christine is the UK Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West.
Before Parliament, Christine was a broadcast journalist with the BBC and taught journalism at the University of Strathclyde.
Since being elected, she has campaigned on air quality, pension equality for WASPI women, medicinal cannabis, refugees' right to work and the cost of living. She is Vice-Chair of the All Party Group for Choice at the End of Life.
First elected in 2017, Christine was re-elected in 2019.
Christine has launched a Cost of Living survey to which over 700 households have already responded.
The Lib Dem MP is contacting residents to find out how the crisis is affecting them and what action they want to see from their politicians.
She said: “We mustn’t lose sight of the impact that this is having on real people who are finding the cost of everything from their shopping to energy bills or simply keeping a roof over their families heads getting more difficult by the day.
“This is not just about money markets or the value of the pound; it has a real and direct impact on the lives of families, pensioners and businesses and I want to know what you want your politicians to do about it.
“From the results so far, it is clear that people in Edinburgh West feel that the UK Government is simply not doing enough to ease the burden people are increasingly facing."