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:
– Tim Martin
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.