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Wetherspoon Will Cut Prices For One Day Only

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Wetherspoon Will Cut Prices For One Day Only

Wetherspoon pubs will cut their prices by 7.5 percent for one day this month to protest against the rising hospitality tax rates.

The chain will slash all food and drinks throughout all 870 pubs to mark Tax Equality Day on 23 September.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The move by 'Spoons is to highlight how good it's been to have reduced tax bills for the hospitality industry, after the usual 20 percent VAT was cut to just five percent to help the sector survive following the pandemic.

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At the end of the month, the VAT rate is due to rise to 12.5 percent before returning to the normal 20 percent by 2022.

But Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin is trying to argue that it should be kept at five percent to help pubs and, more specifically, keep people in pubs instead of buying their booze from big supermarket chains.

Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin. Credit: PA
Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin. Credit: PA

Martin has said that the higher rate for pubs puts supermarkets at an unfair advantage, as the latter don't pay VAT on food so are able to use that saving to sell alcohol at discounted price.

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Martin said: "Taxes should be fair and equitable. However, it is unfair that supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, but pubs and restaurants, in normal circumstances, pay 20 percent.

"Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades, owing to the tax disadvantages which they have with supermarkets.

"Customers in our pubs on Tax Equality Day will find that the price of their food and drinks will be lower than normal.

"However, as a result of the VAT increase to 12.5 percent, we will have to increase food prices by around 50p per meal."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He went on to add: "We urge the chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets by making permanent the current VAT regime for pubs.

"He should note that the main impact of tax inequality is on high streets and town and city centres, which depend heavily on a diversity of prosperous hospitality businesses for economic, social and employment success."

The discount does not apply to alcohol in Scotland, owing to licensing regulations. It also excludes airports and the Republic of Ireland.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Wetherspoon, UK

Rebecca Shepherd
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