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.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
- 5 Livr: A social network only for drunk people
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...