Tax Equality Day proved to be a timely reminder of tax burdens in drawing attention to how pubs are disproportionately hit by VAT. In support of the initiative, Kate Nicholls, CEO of the ALMR, said: “In a week when Moody’s said rising costs and a softening of consumer confidence were resulting in an industry stress test, Tax Equality Day is a timely reminder of how much of that cost burden comes from tax and the boost which would come from targeted tax cuts.
“Our latest Benchmarking Report shows that the Chancellor’s decision to significantly increase pub taxes – business rates and alcohol duty – together with rising labour costs has pushed the amount the average pub pays in tax to just under 40%. That threatens investment in jobs, growth and communities and jeopardises the sector’s record of generating 1 in 6 new jobs at a time when we can ill afford it.
“We know from past experience that a cut in VAT is the single most effective tool in staunching a consumer spending downturn in the face of rising inflation.”
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has hailed Tax Equality Day as an outstanding success.
Almost 900 Wetherspoon pubs across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, lowered their prices by 7.5 per cent on the day to highlight the benefit of a VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.
Tim Martin said: “ Our like for like volumes (excluding new pubs) were up by 17 per cent against the same day last year.
“Apart from the fantastic sales increase on the day, the overriding benefit of the day was to get the important tax equality message over to the general public, which we achieved in our pubs and across the media.”