VAT / 16 March 2017

BBPA voices support for Tax Equality Day

The BBPA is backing Tax Equality Day on Wednesday 20th September, alongside Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), and are calling on pub and restaurant operators to show their support.

Brigid Simmonds comments:

“Tax equality day is a great opportunity to shine a light on how unfair VAT is for both pubs and the wider hospitality sector. If you buy a meal in a supermarket you pay no VAT, but in the pub you pay 20 per cent.

“Even a small drop in the VAT rate for eating out, to 15 per cent, would create 78,000 jobs, and would be a big boost for the economy. I hope pubs will get behind the campaign.”

Tim Martin, Chairman of Wetherspoons, continued:

“Pubs suffer a huge disadvantage paying about 16 pence in business rates per pint versus about two pence for supermarkets.

“In addition there is a huge VAT inequality and unfairness.

“A reduction in the level of VAT on a long-term basis will create a level playing field and generate growth and jobs in an important and vital industry – especially in beleaguered high streets.”

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive, ALMR, added:

“Two thirds of customers have said that they would spend more if VAT was lower and just over half said that they would spend more on eating and drinking out.

“As business rates and rising inflation continue to squeeze the sector, a cut in VAT not only levels the playing fields in terms of fairness, it is also a simple way to help boost a vital engine of economic growth.”

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