Retail giant Tesco has set a precedent to its rivals by passing the UK government's controversial VAT reduction onto customers three days early.

The company, which sells the Cherokee clothing range, said it is cutting customers Christmas shopping bills three days earlier than other supermarkets by reducing VAT from 17.5% to 15% on non-food products including clothing from this Friday (28 November).

Richard Brasher, commercial director at Tesco, said: "We announced on Monday that we would be passing this reduction back to our customers and since then we've been working hard to bring them the benefit sooner rather than later."

The VAT reduction was announced by the UK government on Monday in a move to kick start the economy and officially comes into effect on Monday.

However, there has been a mixed reaction with critics wondering whether the cuts - representing a GBP2.50 reduction on every GBP100 spent - will be sufficient to revive an already heavily discounted high street.

There are also concerns that the changes will cause logistical problems for retailers during the busy pre-Christmas buildup.