Chancellor warned scrapping tax-free shopping risks 70,000 jobs



a store filled with lots of food: Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo


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Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

UK retailers, hoteliers and airport chiefs have warned the chancellor that scrapping tax-free shopping for international tourists has put 70,000 jobs in jeopardy.

Earlier this month the Treasury said that the retail scheme, which enables non-EU visitors to reclaim VAT paid on their purchases, would finish at the end of December. The Treasury says it is making use of the end of the Brexit transition period to bring personal duty and tax systems in line with international norms.

The move has caused a huge storm in retail and tourism circles with Marks & Spencer, Selfridges and the owners of high end designer outlet mall Bicester Village among the business putting their names to a letter urging the chancellor to think again.

Other signatories include the bosses of major airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham.

The decision will leave Britain as the

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Minister admits he was warned about concerns over exams algorithm | Education

The education minister Nick Gibb has admitted he was warned about concerns that the algorithm used to determine exam grades could disproportionately affect poorer pupils.

In a round of media interviews on the morning GCSE results were published, the minister defended the standardisation system, insisting the model was fair but that it was implemented incorrectly.

He apologised to pupils for the chaos that ensued although was unable to give a firm date for the release of Btec results, which have been delayed, saying they would “hopefully” be out next week.

Asked about reports that ministers were warned weeks ago of flaws in the exams algorithm that left thousands of A-level students devastated and university admissions in disarray, he conceded he had been aware of the issue and a meeting had taken place.

The Times reported that Sir Jon Coles, a former director general at the Department for Education (DfE), wrote

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