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Going to the UK for Xmas?

If you’re visiting family and friends in the UK this Xmas and New Year hopefully you get to skite (just a little) about the outcome of four rugby games on 7,14,21 and 28 November. Best not mention the first game of the “Backing Black Tour” last Saturday though.

Those of you staying on until after New Year might notice things getting a little more expensive from 4 January 2011. The UK is increasing their standard VAT rate from 17.5% to 20% on that day.

You’ll most likely be paying more from 4 January for pints and hotels but the good news is the price of a lot of food won’t be affected because the UK zero rate most food items. The same goes for children’s clothing, public transport, magazines, newspapers and books. Other items taxed at the reduced 5% rate like children’s car seats and domestic power also won’t be affected.

Nevertheless a lot of stuff will be more expensive and you might want to plan for the increases.

One tip is, buy as much as possible in advance. For example, if you buy tickets for shows, sports games or other events before 4 January you should pay the old VAT rate even if the event takes place after 4 January. Season football passes might be a good example. The same could apply to other stuff like rental cars etc so it will pay to think ahead if you want to save a few pounds.

Anyway, have a great trip and let’s hope the All Blacks deliver!

Iain

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