Pubs cut prices for Tax Parity Day25th September, 2013 by Andy Young
A number of pubs and high street restaurants are taking part in the kind of protest that consumers like to see as they cut prices in a battle against VAT.
Brewery chains and pubs are taking part in Tax Parity Day as part of a campaign to convince the UK Treasury to drop VAT for catering outlets from the current 20%.
By dropping prices today they hope to demonstrate that a lower rate of VAT would see sales increase. Campaigners argue that this would lead to more employment and would ultimately generate more income and increase the amount paid to the Treasury.
The protest day has been organised by VAT Club, which is run by French businessman Jacques Borel. The main aim of the day is to try to reduce the VAT which applies to to pubs, bars, restaurants, caterers and hotels. At the moment pubs and restaurants by 20% VAT on food and drinks, while supermarkets pay 0% on food.
In a statement on its website the VAT Club said it expects over 15,000 outlets across the UK to take part in Tax Parity Day, “with perhaps more joining them on the day.”
Some of the companies who are supporting the day include JD Wetherspoon, who will have around 880 pubs taking part, plus Young’s, Wadworth, Shepherd Neame, Thwaites, Heineken and SA Brain. Full details of the companies supporting the day can be found on the VAT Club website.
Wetherspoon’s founder Tim Martin recently told the website Propelinfonews.com: “Pubs, restaurants and coffee shops provide about a third of the outlets for successful shopping centres, so our VAT proposals will do far more than even Mary Portas could contemplate in this vital area of the economy. Momentum is building in a huge way and Tax Parity Day, thanks to the work of Jacques Borel’s Vat Club, seems certain to gain far more publicity than any event in the last 30 years.
“This is a call to arms – the time has come to support fair taxes for pubs and restaurants. 10,000 pubs closing down in the last few years is a clear sign that the current tax regime is unsustainable. The status quo of supermarkets paying a fraction of pub taxes per pint must end now.”