Wetherspoons is slashing food and drink prices at its pubs for just one day this week…
- According to the pub chain, the cut clarifies the tax burden for the hospitality industry
- Prices will be reduced by 7.5% in venues across the UK and Ireland on Thursday
JD Wetherspoon will slash prices on all food and drink for a day this week to draw attention to the tax burden on the hospitality industry.
The pub chain will slash prices by 7.5 per cent across all venues in the UK and Ireland on Thursday. This means that, for example, a customer who spends £10 on food and drink will only pay £9.25 for a day.
The move comes to mark Tax Equality Day and underscores the benefits that a permanent VAT reduction would have for pubs and restaurants across the UK, says founder Tim Martin.
Wetherspoon will slash prices in pubs across the UK and Ireland by 7.5 per cent on Thursday
In Scotland, food and non-alcoholic beverage prices are being reduced in line with Scottish licensing laws.
Wetherspoon said it wanted to uncover the “huge disparities” in how pubs and restaurants are taxed compared to supermarkets.
Tim Martin, founder and chairman of the group, said: “The biggest threat to the hospitality industry is the huge disparity in the tax treatment of pubs, restaurants and supermarkets.”
“Supermarkets don’t pay VAT on the sale of groceries, while pubs and restaurants pay 20 percent.” This tax advantage allows supermarkets to subsidize the selling price of beer.
“Pubs have been under tremendous pressure for decades because of the tax disadvantage they have compared to supermarkets.”
“This means that the hospitality sector is subsidizing supermarkets because of the tax rules”
In July, Wetherspoon announced that 22 of its pubs remained for sale or were no longer offered after 28 pubs closed last year.
The pub group said the 22 locations in question were on locations with another Wetherspoon pub in the area.
It was a “misinterpretation” to claim the move was due to difficult trading conditions and it was claimed that pressure on energy costs appeared to be easing.
Martin added: “We call on the Chancellor to establish tax equality between pubs and supermarkets.”
Martin has been vocal on the issue, arguing that the lower price of beer in supermarkets has discouraged some consumers from grabbing a pint at the local pub.
He also accused some senior politicians of a “lack of understanding” of inflation, noting that higher costs are putting pressure on the sector.
Wetherspoon has 827 pubs in the UK and Ireland. The company will report record sales in its pubs for the last financial year thanks to record business over the Easter and May bank holidays.