Wetherspoons to cut food VAT for Tax Equality Day

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Drinks: Drinks
Other: Business

Wetherspoons is to cut the price of all food and drink at its 900 pubs by 7.5% on Wednesday 20 September to highlight claims that VAT reduction would benefit the hospitality industry.

Traditional English pub chicken pot pie

Tax Equality Day aims to highlight how food and drink in pubs is subject to 20% VAT. However, supermarkets are not required to pay VAT on their groceries.

According to Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers’ (ALMR) chief executive, Kate Nicholls, who is also backing the campaign: ‘This saving allows huge supermarkets to sell other goods, such as alcohol, at a discounted rate.’

Wetherspoons and trade groups such as the ALMR and British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) are calling for a cut in the VAT rate charged. According to the BBPA the pubs and restaurant sector could create 78,000 new posts, if sales tax were cut from 20% to 15%.

‘We are proud to support the campaign to reduce the level of VAT within the pub industry,’ J D Wetherspoon founder and chairman, Tim Martin, said. ‘Customers coming to our pubs on Wednesday 20 September will find the price of their food and drink is lower than normal. We are keen to highlight the amount customers would save if VAT in pubs was lowered permanently. So, for example, the total price of a meal and drinks for a customer would be reduced from £10 to £9.25 on Tax Equality Day.

‘Creating tax equality between pubs, restaurants and supermarkets will fulfil many government objectives including the creation of more jobs. It is a win win situation for the government and our industry.’

About Author

Claire Dodd

As a freelance journalist, Claire has written about pretty much any topic you can imagine, from which are the best sausages, to how to flood-proof your home. However, her writing on drinks began when she landed a job as a features writer for the Publican magazine in 2007. Adjusting to a lifestyle of sampling the best drinks from around the world was tough, but someone had to do it. Having left the title in 2011, today Claire focuses on drinks and travel writing for both consumer and trade titles. Aside from searching the globe for the best drinks, and the nicest spots to consume them, she also judges global brewing competitions and keeps an eye on the business moves of the on-trade.

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