By
with contributions from Louise Barlett
 on November 25, 2008

LONDON — British retailers and the U.K. government are offering a raft of incentives to entice reluctant shoppers during the holiday period.

British Chancellor Alistair Darling on Monday announced a 2.5 percent cut in value-added tax, to 15 percent, as part of his prebudget report. The cut, one of several measures the government launched to stimulate the U.K. economy, is effective from Dec. 1 to the end of next year and applies to most nonfood products, excluding children’s clothes. It represents a discount of about 2.50 pounds, or $3.75, off an item that costs 100 pounds, or $150.

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