Starting in January, the UK will be prohibiting Britain’s obscene use of credit card surcharges on the basis that they are “a ripoff”.

According to a statement released by Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), British citizens are often given expensive surcharges – sometimes as much as 20% if they are purchasing an airline flight – just for using a credit card.

A 2010 census found that credit card and debit surcharges amounted to over $700 million (£473 million) alone.

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“Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end,” said the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay. “This is about fairness and transparency, and so from next year there will be no more nasty surprises for people at the check-out just for using a card.”

“These small charges can really add up and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them.”

The legislation, which will be enforced starting in January, will outlaw retailers, merchants, government agencies, and local councils from implementing outlandish surcharges. UK representatives will also be working with British businesses in order to ensure that credit card processing fees remain affordable, but without the hefty added price gouges.

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