VAT petition started by angry customer

By Matt Eley Matt

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Vat, Prime minister of the united kingdom

A pub customer is so angry about the impact increased VAT is having on pubs she has started a petition on the issue. Maria Huggett, who manages a...

A pub customer is so angry about the impact increased VAT is having on pubs she has started a petition on the issue.

Maria Huggett, who manages a pub band, believes VAT returning to 17.5 per cent has hit the venue where her band plays as drink prices have soared.

In a bid to get the government to listen, she has launched a petition on the 10 Downing Street website urging the Prime Minister to "deduct the duty which was levied when VAT was reduced to 15 per cent."

It adds: "When VAT was temporarily reduced the Chancellor added two per cent duty to alcohol to offset the reduction in tax collected.

"Now that VAT has been increased to 17.5 per cent again this hidden tax has not been removed - hence recent rises in alcohol costs."

Maria added that music venues are being hit particularly hard by "low numbers due to price increases in the recession".

Stuart Seydel, licensee at the Old Duke, Bristol, where Maria's band plays regularly, said the VAT hike adds to the pressure pubs are already facing.

"Everyone who reads The Publican​ knows how many pubs are being closed, but other areas are also being hit hard," he said.

"Due to a price hike from the pubco to which I'm tied I've just had to put my prices up, the results of which are that my loyal customers have to pay more and I earn less.

"The difference in prices between pubs and supermarkets is huge, and increasing duties will only make it bigger.

"These are tough times for everyone but I feel that this industry could do with a break for a while."

So far around 50 people have signed the petition. Add your name at petitions.number10.gov.uk/-taxonalcohol/

Related topics: Legislation

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