Wetherspoon pubs to host Tax Equality Day with cut price F&B

Wetherspoon pubs across the UK will be cutting the price of all food and drink in its pubs by 7.5% this Thursday, September 15, to highlight the benefit of a permanent VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.

Prices at the company’s 851 pubs (not including Republic of Ireland) will be reduced for one day only to mark Tax Equality Day.

In Scotland, prices will be reduced on meals and non-alcoholic drinks only due to licensing restrictions.

So for example a customer spending £10 on food and drink will only pay £9.25 on Tax Equality Day. All food and drink in pubs is subject to 20% VAT.

By comparison, supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, and are able to use that saving to sell alcohol to its customers at a discounted price.

Wetherspoon chairman, Tim Martin, said, “ Taxes should be fair and equitable. It doesn’t make sense for the hospitality industry to subsidise supermarkets. However, it is unfair that supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, but pubs and restaurants pay 20 per cent.

“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades due to the tax disadvantages that they have with supermarkets. Customers in our pubs will find the price of their food and drink will be lower than normal on Tax Equality Day.

“We applauded the Chancellor when he reduced the level of VAT to five per cent and then to 12.5 per cent (for food and drink served in pubs) and urge the Chancellor once again to reduce VAT, thereby creating tax equality between pubs and supermarkets.

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

“Government does best when it does not discriminate among various types of business selling the same products.”