Wetherspoon to slash prices for a day to show support for tax cuts

Tim Martin, chairman

Wetherspoon will slash taxes for a day in September in a bid to show support for UK-wide Tax Equality Day.

Each of Wetherspoon’s pubs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be cutting the price of all food and drink by 7.5 per cent on September 13.

Pubs in Scotland will offer customers a 7.5 per cent reduction on all food, soft drinks and hot drinks.

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Chairman of JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, has called on other pub and restaurant operators to show their support for a UK-wide Tax Equality Day, and has received backing from industry-leading organisations, UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association, who are calling on their members to join in too.

Tax Equality Day is aimed at highlighting the benefit of a VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.

At present all food in pubs is subject to 20 per cent VAT, compared to supermarkets which benefit from a zero VAT rate on the vast majority of food products.

Martin said: “Pubs suffer a huge disadvantage paying about 16 pence in business rates per pint versus about two pence for supermarkets. A reduction in the level of VAT on a long-term basis will create a level playing field and generate growth and jobs in an important and vital industry, especially in beleaguered high streets.

He added: “We’re aiming to make it the busiest day of the entire year in our pubs and would urge other pub and restaurant operators to participate too.”

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, said: “Tax Equality Day is a great way to highlight just how hospitality businesses are disproportionately hit by VAT. A cut in the rate of VAT for the hospitality sector can help address this unfairness and allow pubs and bars to invest in their businesses and staff members.”

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Alex Douglas

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