The pubs of one particular chain are set to be busy tomorrow – as Wetherspoon cuts its prices for one day only.
People can take advantage of a 7.5% saving on food and drink at 870 of their pubs, which is being used as a protest by the pub-chain on Tax Equality Day.
Currently, all pub food and drinks are subject to 5% VAT as a result of the cut by the chancellor in July 2020.
However, on October 1, the VAT rate will rise to 12.5%, before gradually returning to 20% by 2022.
The reason for the protest price cut is to highlight the savings to consumers if hospitality were treated like supermarkets, who pay zero VAT on food and can, therefore, use the savings to discount prices on alcohol.
Wetherspoon’s chairman, Tim 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 per cent.
“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 per cent, we will have to increase food prices by around 50p per meal.”
Martin continued: “We urge the chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets by making permanent the current VAT régime 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.”
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The company have said the discount is at most location but it does not apply to alcohol in Scotland, due to licensing regulations, and the offer excludes airports and the Republic of Ireland.
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