Pub operator JD Wetherspoon is to reduce prices on a range of meals and drinks following the Chancellor’s decision to reduce VAT on food, coffee and soft drinks from 20 per cent to five per cent.
The company is to fully pass on the tax benefit to its customers, starting on Wednesday 15 July.
The price of a number of products, including real ale, coffee, soft drinks, breakfasts, burgers and pizzas will all see price reductions, with all reductions fully implemented by Monday 20 July.
As a result of the VAT reduction, Wetherspoon will offer a pint of Ruddles Bitter for £1.29 (down 50 pence, on average), a pint of Doom Bar at £1.79 (down 31 pence, on average), Abbot Ale (down 40 pence, on average) and guest beers at £1.99 (down 26 pence, on average) at 764 of its pubs.
Prices for real ale will be up to £1 higher at the company’s other 103 pubs across the UK which are located in major town and city centres, airports and stations.
However, these pubs will have price reductions of at least 10 pence per drink and 20 pence per meal.
Lavazza coffee and tea will be reduced to £1.29 (down 16 pence, on average) at the 764 pubs, which will continue to offer free refills to customers, and soft drinks will be £1.69 for a 14oz glass of Diet Pepsi and £1.79 for standard Pepsi (down 11 pence, on average).
Breakfasts will be reduced to £3.49 (down 41 pence on average), pizzas, including a soft drink will start from £5.49 (down 66 pence, on average) and burgers and a soft drink will start from £4.99 (down 66 pence on average).
All Wetherspoon pubs, including those in town and city centres, airports and stations will see prices reduced for these products.
Founder and chairman, Tim Martin said, “Wetherspoon will invest all the proceeds of the VAT reduction in lower prices, spread across both bar and food products, with the biggest reductions on real ale.
“Wetherspoon has campaigned for tax equality between pubs, restaurants and supermarkets for many years.
“Supermarkets pay no VAT on food sales and pubs pay 20 per cent. Supermarkets pay about two pence per pint of business rates and pubs pay about 20 pence.
“These tax differences have helped supermarkets to subsidise their selling prices of beer, wine and spirits, enabling them to capture about half of pubs’ beer sales, for example, in the past forty years.'
Martin continued, “A VAT reduction will help pubs and restaurants reverse this trend – creating more jobs, helping high streets and eventually generating more tax income for the government.
“Not every UK hospitality business will be able to reduce prices immediately. Some will need to retain the benefit of lower VAT just to stay in business. Others may need to invest in upgrading their premises.
“However, lower VAT and tax equality will eventually lead to lower prices, more employment, busier high streets and more taxes for the government.
“Congratulations to Chancellor Rishi Sunak for a sensible economic initiative, which is long overdue.”