Pub chain JD Wetherspoons is cutting prices across many of its branches for one day.
In a protest over tax, the pubs will see prices drop on the 20th September only.
Tax Equality Day
Wetherspoons is standing up in support of Tax Equality Day, a day of protest against the current levels of VAT levied on the hospitality industry. The event aims to bring attention to the benefit that would be seen if the level of VAT was reduced, helping customers to better afford meals out and stays in hotels without cutting profits to the businesses.
The pubs will be cutting the prices of their food and drinks by 7.5% for the duration of the day. They will be joined by thousands of other businesses around the UK, who feel that the charges put on those going out for the night are unfair. Pubs and restaurants currently have to pay VAT of 20% on all of their food and drink – while there is no such charge at all for supermarkets, who do not pay VAT on the food that they sell. They feel that this affects their profitability, and thus their ability to provide chef jobs, wait staff jobs, and management positions.
Kristopher Lee, manager of The Quayside, said: “We are proud to support the campaign to reduce the level of VAT within the pub industry. Customers coming to the pubs on Wednesday, September 20 will find the price of their food and drink is lower than normal. We are keen to highlight the amount customers would save if VAT in pubs was lowered permanently. So, for example, the price of a meal and drinks for a customer would be reduced from £10 to £9.25 on Tax Equality Day.”
Benefits across the industry
The chairman of Wetherspoons, Tim Martin, is all in favour of the proposed change. He says that growth in the UK would be massively fuelled by the reduction in VAT, which in turn would also create new food jobs.
“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 between pubs, restaurants and supermarkets will fulfil many government objectives. ,” he said. “It will create more jobs and it will raise the amount of taxes the government receive, since pubs and restaurants pay more taxes and create more jobs than supermarkets. It is a win, win situation for the government and our industry.”
A statement on the Wetherspoons website further confirms their plans for the day. They will be cutting the price of food and drink across all of their venues in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland for the full day. In Scotland, only food and soft drinks will be reduced, though the venues are still taking part.
There is plenty of support for this idea within the industry, so plenty of other chains and even independent venues are taking part. You can check online to see which of the venues in your local area will be trying out the reduction for the day.