On Thursday 14 September, Wetherspoon’s pubs are to cut the price of all food and drinks by 7.5 per cent – to highlight the benefit of a permanent VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.
Prices at the pubs will be reduced for one day only to mark Tax Equality Day (in Scotland, prices will be reduced on food and non-alcoholic drinks, in line with Scottish licensing laws).
For example, a customer spending £10 on food and drinks will pay only £9.25 on Tax Equality Day.
All food and drinks in pubs are subject to 20 per cent VAT. By comparison, supermarkets pay zero VAT on food and are able to use that saving to sell alcohol to customers at a discounted price.
Wetherspoon’s founder and chairman, Tim Martin, said: “The biggest threat to the hospitality industry is the vast disparity in tax treatment among pubs, restaurants and supermarkets.
“Supermarkets pay zero VAT in respect of food sales, whereas pubs and restaurants pay 20 per cent.
“This tax benefit allows supermarkets to subsidise the selling price of beer.
“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades, because of the tax disadvantages which they have with supermarkets.
“It doesn’t make sense for the hospitality industry to subsidise supermarkets.
“Customers coming to Wetherspoon’s pubs on Thursday 14 September will find the price of their food and drinks to be lower than normal.
“We urge the chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets.”