Wetherspoons pubs in Sheffield slash prices for one day only to highlight Tax Equality Day

Anyone who visits a JD Wetherspoon pub in Sheffield today will be met with some impressive deals as the pub chain slashes prices for one day only as part of Tax Equality Day.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 2:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 2:28 pm

The chain is to cut the price of all food and drinks in its pubs by 7.5 per cent today (Thursday, September 23) to highlight the benefit of a permanent VAT reduction in the hospitality industry, which chairman Tim Martin has been campaigning for over the last year.

It comes after the Government decided to temporarily reduce VAT for hospitality venues to five per cent back in July 2020, to help with some of the difficulties faced by businesses during the pandemic.

But the reduction is due to end next week on October 1, when the VAT rate will rise to 12.5 per cent.

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JD Wetherspoon pubs in Sheffield are slashing their prices for one day only today in celebration of Tax Equality Day, which aims to show the benefits of a permanent tax reduction for the hospitality industry. Photo: Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images.

The move is part of a phased plan to bring the rate up to 20 per cent by 2022, a move which many people in the hospitality industry are against.

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Cheap food and drink

The Wetherspoons Tax Equality Day will see prices slashed on all food and drink, meaning Sheffield residents who head out to one of the chain’s pubs today will enjoy a traditional breakfast costing £3.59 for just £3.32 and pints usually costing £2.50 will be reduced to £2.32.

The cost of a pint will be reduced at Wetherspoon pubs across Sheffield today, as well as other menu items. Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images.

Currently, supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, and are able to use that saving to sell alcohol to customers at a discounted price.

Wetherspoon’s chairman, Tim Martin, said: “Taxes should be fair and equitable. However, it is unfair that supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, but pubs and restaurants, in normal circumstances, pay 20 per cent.

“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades, owing to the tax disadvantages which they have with supermarkets.

Manager of the Bankers Draft in Sheffied, Jonathan Atkinson, said: “It is unfair that supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, but pubs and restaurants, in normal circumstances, pay 20 per cent.

“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades due to the tax disadvantages it has with supermarkets.

“Customers coming to The Bankers Draft on Thursday September 23 will find the price of their food and drink is lower than normal.”

Prices to rise

The deal will be short-lived though, as next week the chain plans to raise its prices, with the Government bringing in the new VAT increase next Friday.

Mr Martin said: “As a result of the VAT increase to 12.5 per cent, we will have to increase food prices by around 50p per meal.

“We urge the chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets by making permanent the current VAT régime for pubs.

“He should note that the main impact of tax inequality is on high streets and town and city centres, which depend heavily on a diversity of prosperous hospitality businesses for economic, social and employment success.”

Wetherspoon pubs in Sheffield

The pubs in Sheffield taking part in the deal are:

The Bankers Draft, Market Place, Sheffield city centre

The Woodseats Palace, Chesterfield Road, Woodseats

The Benjamin Huntsman, Cambridge Street, Sheffield city centre

The Rawson Spring, Langsett Road, Hillsborough

The Sheffield Waterworks Company, Division Street, Sheffield city centre

The Sheaf Island, Ecclesall Road, Ecclesall

The Francis Newton, Clarkehouse Road, Broomhill

The Wagon & Horses,Market Place, Chapeltown

The Steel Foundry, The Oasis, Meadowhall