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 Wednesday 20 September.
They are all backing a national Tax Equality Day, aimed at highlighting the benefit of a VAT reduction in the hospitality industry. In Scotland, the company’s pubs will be participating and reducing the price of all food and soft drinks by 7.5 per cent.
At present, all food and drinks in pubs are subject to 20 per cent VAT, compared with food in supermarkets which benefits from zero-rate VAT. As a result, supermarkets are able to use that saving to sell alcohol at a discounted rate.
Wetherspoon’s chairman, Tim Martin, said: “We are proud to support the campaign to reduce the level of VAT in the pub industry. On Tax Equality Day, customers in our pubs will find the price of their drinks and food to be lower than normal. We are keen to highlight the amount which customers would save, if VAT in pubs were 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. A reduction in the level of VAT, on a long-term basis, will generate growth and create jobs in the important leisure and hospitality sector. Creating tax equality among pubs, restaurants and supermarkets will fulfil many government objectives. It will create more jobs and raise the amount of taxes which the government receives, since pubs and restaurants pay more taxes and create more jobs than supermarkets do.
“It is a win-win situation for the government and our industry.”