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Up to 15,000 ready for Tax Parity Day

23 | 09 | 13

As many as 15,000 pubs and restaurants across the UK are participating in Tax Parity Day on September 25th.

It will see eateries and drinking locations lower their prices by 7.5 per cent for the day. This is to encourage the benefits of a proposed cut in VAT.

If successful, it could go a long way to making an argument for these reductions. As such, it is important for the catering equipment industry to watch out for developments, as any reductions on VAT has the potential to equal more profits for the hospitality industry.

Jacques Borel is the lobbyist behind the day - calling for a 15 per cent cut in VAT for the sector. This would see the VAT on food drop from 20 per cent to five per cent. In comparison, supermarket food is sold without any VAT, which makes a difference in the pricing that may drive potential customers away. Tax Parity Day aims to show what is possible with less VAT.

Mr Borel said: "If we compare with what has happened in Germany, Finland, Belgium and France, if you make a 7.5 per cent cut, you will have 25 per cent more clients, which is very significant.

"The more objections we have, the better off we are. We don't fear objections - in my experience it is when objections are surfacing that you start to convince people."

Some large chains have already signed up to the day - the likes of JD Wetherspoon, Punch Taverns, Enterprise Inns and Fuller's will all be taking part. Many independent restaurants and pubs will also be participating.

Mr Borel has, however, admitted the Treasury has not shown any signs of being more receptive than when he first asked for reductions. He has planned to visit more ministers, as well as holding a briefing session with the chairman of JD Wetherspoons Tim Martin. This will be held for ten to fifteen journalists at the end of the Labour Party Conference.

Mr Martin has already spoken out against VAT. When Wetherspoons reported record sales for the year leading to July, he called for lower taxes, pointing out the company had paid £551.5 million throughout the year - equating to £632,000 for each pub.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801640800-ADNFCR

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