Pub joins campaign to cut tax in sector

Shift leader Arabella Kerrigan, left, with team leader Ryan Cuthbert and floor associate Megan Knight, ready for the Tax Equality Day reductions at the Moon Under Water, in Boston.
Shift leader Arabella Kerrigan, left, with team leader Ryan Cuthbert and floor associate Megan Knight, ready for the Tax Equality Day reductions at the Moon Under Water, in Boston.

A Boston pub is lending its support to a national drive aimed at highlighting the benefit of a tax cut in the hospitality sector.

The Moon Under Water, in High Street, is backing the Tax Equality Day campaign on Wednesday, September 20.

It will see the Wetherspoon pub cut the price of all food and drink by 7.5 per cent for one day only in order to show the benefits of a VAT reduction.

The campaign is organised by the Wetherspoon group, along with the two industry bodies – the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The ALMR is the only national trade body dedicated to representing the interests of licensed hospitality operators.

The BBPA, meanwhile, is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies.

At present all food and drink in pubs is subject to 20 per cent VAT, compared to supermarkets which have a zero VAT rate on all food.

As a result, supermarkets are able to use that saving to sell alcohol at a discounted rate, campaigners say.

The pub’s manager Dawn Cawston said: “We are proud to support the campaign to reduce the level of VAT within the pub industry.

“Customers coming to the pub on Wednesday, September 20 will find the price of their food and drink is lower than normal.

“We are keen to highlight the amount customers could save if VAT in pubs was lowered permanently.”

She added: “A reduction in the level of VAT on a long-term basis will generate growth and create jobs in the important leisure and hospitality sector and help the high street of which pubs are an integral part.”

A spokesman for the Treasury said: “Pubs make an important contribution to the UK’s economy – and up to 90 per cent of them can benefit from the new business rates relief that we introduced this year to support local pubs, saving them over £11 million a year.

“In addition, both pubs and their customers have saved over £2 billion since 2013 thanks to changes to alcohol duty.”