Letter: A question of duty

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Further to the duty-free bonanza (letter, 28 December), although bringing our duty rates into line with other EU countries would reduce duty revenue, there would be other, compensating, factors.

On the vast quantities of duty-free liquor and tobacco that are currently coming across the Channel, our government would at least be collecting some duty.

The British retailer would then have the benefit of those sales, which would increase his taxable profits.

We would not have to pay Customs and Excise officers to follow these goods around the country to make sure that they are not being resold.

Here on the Isle of Wight we have been very aware for some years now that our holiday trade is also being adversely affected by cross-Channel trafficking.

Many people have realised that they can cross the Channel more cheaply than they can cross the Solent and go home with a boot full of duty-frees, which pays for the trip.

It is better to encourage people to spend their money in the UK rather than abroad.


Arreton, Isle of Wight