Letter: The end of duty-free

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am concerned that a decision on the abolition of duty-free shopping within the EU has been made without fully debating the effects, not only on those of us who work in duty-free and who risk losing our jobs within the next 18 months, but also on those who travel within the EU ("Duty-free plan goes ahead", 31 October).

Duty-free sales at the airport subsidise the landing fees paid by airlines and in-flight duty-free sales or sales on board ferries also subsidise the cost of travel. From July 1999 not only will travellers be unable to buy the duty-free products they see as a welcome perk, but they will inevitably be paying more to travel.

It is not only those people who work in duty-free whose jobs are at risk. Other industries, notably the Scottish whisky industry, rely heavily on the duty-free sector for sales and will also face job losses if the proposed abolition goes through.


Chandler's Ford, Hampshire