Pubs and restaurants drop prices in tax protest
Prices at 15,000 establishments across the country fall by 7.5 per for one day
Thousands of pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK are slashing their prices for a day in protest against VAT.
As many as 15,000 establishments, including big-name chains like JD Wetherspoons and breweries like Heineken are throwing their weight behind the campaign, called 'Tax Parity Day', which aims to force the government to drop the VAT it levies on catering outlets.
This means that for today only, food in participating eateries will cost 7.5 per cent less.
Currently, customers are charged 20 per cent VAT on food bought in pubs and restaurants. The campaign believes that VAT should be cut by five per cent, bringing it line with the government's reduced rate, which it says would bring in an extra £1.5bn in taxes in just three years, and create as many as 600,000 jobs.
The protest has been organised by VAT Club, an industry pressure group run by French businessman Jacques Borel.
In a statement, the campaign said that lower VAT would 'stimulate demand' and boost the economy.
"Although the Treasury would experience a decline in direct VAT receipts were the rate to be reduced to five per cent, it would gain additional revenues from higher sector turnover," it said.
The government disagrees. A spokesperson for the Treasury said it does "not accept the industry’s case for a VAT rate cut for restaurants and catering".
“A five per cent reduced rate on catering services is estimated to cost around £9 billion to the Exchequer. This cost would have to be met either from increasing other taxes, which would have an adverse impact on growth and jobs elsewhere in the economy, or from increased borrowing which would risk raising interest rates on mortgages and business loans.”
Numerous restaurant and pub chains are participating. These include JD Wetherspoon, which has around 880 participating pubs, as well as the likes of Young’s, Fuller's, Pret a Manger, Pizza Hut, Subway, Shepherd Neame, Heineken and SA Brain.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 4 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
- 5 Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Hilary Swank: Million Dollar Baby star says she turns down roles to care for elderly father
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Bastrop: The Texas town where many fear a large military training exercise will be used by President Obama to take their guns and impose martial law
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager required for a busy company in...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This leading security company requires a prof...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A sales person is required to join a lea...