Live updates


Pubs and restaurants cut prices in tax cut campaign

Credit: PA Wire

More than 15,000 pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK will cut the price of food and drink by 7.5% today as part of a campaign to reduce VAT.

Campaigner Jacques Borel called on the hospitality industry to make Tax Equality Day their busiest day of the year to highlight the benefit of a VAT reduction.

Prices will be reduced for one day to show the benefits to consumers of a VAT cut from 20%.

Mr Borel has achieved VAT cuts in a number of European countries, including France, Germany, Belgium and Finland.

He said: "I am confident that Tax Equality Day will be a great success and that the price reductions will be welcomed by customers.

"At present all food and drink in pubs is subject to 20% VAT, compared to supermarkets which benefit from a zero VAT rate.

Our message is clear - 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."

Lukewarm reception to pub grub protest

A price reduction of 7.5 percent in pubs and restaurants would not encourage most people to dine out more, according to a survey on the ITV News Facebook page.

Most respondents believed the price cut was too small to make a difference, such as Caroline Caunt who said:

I would hardly say that a £1.50 reduction on a £20 main course would encourage me to dine out....!

– Caroline Caunt

Christine Wood disputed claims from protest organisers that a VAT reduction would boost the economy:

Lower prices wouldn't create more jobs, the few staff they employ now would have to work harder, that's how it works these days.

– Christine Wood

Steve Clarke was also pessimistic about the wider benefits of lower VAT for the hospitality sector:

If they dropped VAT for food outlets the lost money would have to be made up somehow, and guess who would end up footing the bill... So we'd end up no better off and the food companies wouldn't get any more business.

– Steve Clarke

Pub and restaurant tax cuts 'would revive high streets'

Cutting the VAT paid by pubs and restaurants would "revive moribund high streets", said JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin as his pub chain joined those slashing prices in today's tax protest:

The Government and the public yearn to revive moribund high streets, and our proposals will provide a massive shot in the arm, especially in poorer areas.

Supermarkets pay virtually no VAT in respect of food sales, whereas pubs pay 20 percent . This disparity enables supermarkets to subsidise their alcoholic drinks sales to the detriment of pubs and, indeed, restaurants.

– Tim Martin


The 40 pubs and restaurants cutting prices today

Flyer for tax parity day appearing on the JD Wetherspoon website. Credit: Facebook/wetherspoon

Forty pubs and restaurants will cut their prices by 7.5 percent today in a protest against the amount of VAT paid by the hospitality sector.

Several chains and brands are taking part in the campaign, including JD Wetherspoon, Subway, Pret a Manger and Heineken.

Pubs and restaurants 'cut prices for tax parity day'

Leading pubs and high street food outlets are due to give customers a treat today as they drop their prices as part of a VAT protest.

The chains and breweries are hoping to highlight the advantages that lower VAT would bring in increased sales as part of a campaign to convince the Treasury to drop VAT for catering outlets from the current 20%.

The campaign claims a reduction in tax would increase sales and employment. Credit: Matthew Impey/EMPICS Sport

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is one of the chains taking part in the 'tax parity day' organised by the VAT club started by French businessman Jacques Borel.

The campaign claims that a reduction in tax would increase sales and employment, generating more income and increasing the amount paid to the Treasury.