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Some airport shops are keeping the extra money they earn when passengers show their boarding passes and are being urged to pass VAT savings on.

Customers show boarding passes so that retailers in the UK can avoid paying 20% VAT on purchases made by people who fly outside of the EU.

Buying without having to pay VAT is supposed to be for the benefit of travellers, said the treasury minister David Gauke. He also stated that it was not meant to provide a windfall gain for shops.

However, passengers do not legally have to show their boarding passes when they buy products at the airport. Passengers usually think that they have to show their passes but it is a request by shops so that they can avoid paying the VAT.

Boots is one of many retailers who operate in the UK airports and a spokesman said that the company did not claim back some VAT for non-EU passengers. This was to follow the rules that the government set out.

WH Smith on the other hand, said that having different pricing for travellers to EU and non-EU destinations would be impossible because it would mean distinguishing between each traveller.

Many shops were found to have some discounts in airports but still kept most of the savings.

UK government borrowing has fallen in May due to a rise in income tax and VAT receipts, official figures have shown. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the borrowing fell to £10.13 billion last month, which is down from £12.35 billion the year before. This was also the lowest borrowing figure in that month for eight years.

Excluding public sector banks, public sector net debt stands at £1.5 trillion, which is 80.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the ONS.

Income tax receipts had not been this high during May for four years but it rose £0.5 billion, which is 5.3%, from a year before to £10.8 billion. VAT receipts however rose by £0.6 billion, which is 5.6%, to £10.7 billion. An estimation by the ONS stated that the total public sector borrowing in the financial year to March 2015 was £89.2 billion, or 4.9% of GDP. This figure was £9.3 billion lower than the previous year’s total despite it being higher than the previous estimate.

According to analysts, the drop in government borrowing during May is good news for the chancellor George Osborne at the start of the new fiscal year.