VAT campaigners plan national day of action

By Mark Wingett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Value added tax, Tax

VAT campaigners plan tax parity day
VAT campaigners plan tax parity day
Campaigners aiming to reduce the level of VAT in the hospitality sector from 20% to 5% headed by Jacques Borel are planning to launch a national day of action later this year.

The VAT Club JB is organising a Tax Parity Day across the UK on 25 September and is calling on tens of thousands of publicans, restaurateurs and foodservice operators to reduce their prices by 7.5% for one day only, in order to highlight the benefits of a VAT reduction to 5% cent.

It is backing the campaign with 250,000 posters which will be distributed to venues in order to highlight the national day of action to their customers.

It is being backed by members of The VAT Club JB, including JDW, Brains, Heineken, Shepherd Neame, Punch Taverns, Fullers, Charles Wells, restaurant group Pizza Hut, Subway and Roadchef.

Borel said: “Our aim is to secure a more equal tax treatment for food sold through pubs, restaurants and food service operators, compared to supermarkets, which benefit from a zero VAT rate. We are calling on supporters of the campaign to reduce their prices by 7.5% for one day.

“This is the amount by which we believe that prices would fall if VAT were cut to 5%, on the assumption that 60% of any reduction would be passed onto the customer in lower prices. So, for example, the total price of a meal and drinks for a family of four would be reduced from £60 to £54.60 on Tax Parity Day.”

Borel argued that a 7.5% reduction on the day will lead to increased turnover of between 10 and 12% for operators taking part, as they will attract more customers to their outlets.

In France, a similar campaign saw sales increase by 8% on the day of action.

Borel said: “Our argument is clear – 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.”

JD Wetherspoon chairman, Tim Martin, said: “Wetherspoon wholeheartedly supports Jacques’ initiative for Tax Parity Day. We’re aiming to make it our busiest day of the entire year.

“Creating tax parity between pubs, restaurants and supermarkets will fulfil many Government objectives. It will create more jobs and it will raise the amount of taxes the Government receive, since pubs and restaurants pay more taxes and create more jobs than supermarkets. It’s a win win situation for the Government, voters and our industry.”

Related topics: Legislation

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