Wetherspoons: Tim Martin warns of ‘survival mode’ for pub chain
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The pub chain has announced it will cut the prices of all food and drinks for one day to support the campaign. On September 23, the company will cut prices by 7.5 percent before the VAT rate rises next month.
Currently, all food and drinks in pubs are subject to five percent VAT following the temporary VAT cut made during the pandemic last year.
However, on October 1, the VAT will rise to 12.5 percent.
The 12.5 percent rate of VAT will apply between October 1 this year and 31 March 2022, before reverting to the standard 20 percent rate.
Wetherspoons chairman, Tim Martin, told the Daily Mail the 20 percent VAT tax is “unfair” on pubs.
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In the popular pubs, food is expected to increase in price by 50p.
“Taxes should be fair and equitable,” he said.
“However, it is unfair that supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, but pubs and restaurants, in normal circumstances, pay 20 per cent.
“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades, owing to the tax disadvantages which they have with supermarkets.
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“Customers in our pubs on Tax Equality Day will find that the price of their food and drinks will be lower than normal.
“However, as a result of the VAT increase to 12.5 per cent, we will have to increase food prices by around 50p per meal.
“We urge the chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets by making permanent the current VAT régime for pubs.
“He should note that the main impact of tax inequality is on high streets and town and city centres, which depend heavily on a diversity of prosperous hospitality businesses for economic, social and employment success.”
Earlier this month, the pub chain apologised to its customers after its supplies of Carling and Coors struggled to reach pubs across the nation.
In a statement, Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are experiencing some supply problems with both Carling and Coors, which means that some pubs do not have the products available.
“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused. We know that the brewers are trying to resolve the issue.”
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