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Lamb shank and a pint at Wetherspoons

Two city pubs cutting food and drink prices to promote lower taxes

Canterbury’s two Wetherspoons pubs are cutting the price of all food and drink to mark Tax Equality Day.

Customers visiting The Thomas Ingoldsby in Burgate and The West Gate Inn at North Lane will find prices reduced by 7.5% on Thursday September 13.

Wetherspoons points out that at present all food and drink in pubs is subject to 20% VAT, compared to supermarkets which benefit from a zero VAT on all food.

The chain, which has 936 outlets nationwide, says the arrangement is unfair and unfavourable to pubs.

It is therefore supporting national Tax Equality Day, which is aimed at highlighting the benefit of a VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.

The West Gate Inn at North Lane is part of the Wetherspoons chain

West Gate Inn manager Simon Pitcher said: “We are proud to support the campaign to reduce the level of VAT within the pub industry.

“Customers coming to the pubs on Thursday, September 13 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.

“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.”

Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin is calling on other businesses in the food and drink industry to do the same on September 13.

He said: “Pubs suffer a huge disadvantage paying about 16p in business rates per pint versus about 2p for supermarkets.

“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.

“We’re aiming to make it the busiest day of the entire year in our pubs and would urge other pub and restaurant operators to participate too.”

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