Whiting slams 'audacity' of supermarkets as he supports VAT Equality Day

By James Wallin contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Vat club

Brian Whiting says the level of VAT his company is forced to pay has hampered expansion
Brian Whiting says the level of VAT his company is forced to pay has hampered expansion
Whiting & Hammond, the Kent-based multiple pub operator, has pledged its support for Tax Equality Day on 24 September.

It marks the second year the company has taken part in the initiative, which will see it knock 7.5% of the standard 20% off its food prices for one day only.

Writing in the company magazine, managing director Brian Whiting said: “The difference that currently exists between the VAT treatment of supermarket sales compared to sales of food and beverages in pubs, restaurants and hotel is simply unfair and something has to be done about it. Supermarkets have the audacity to brand a selection of their products as ‘Gastro Pub Style’ in direct competition to us. Alongside this, they run campaigns encouraging their customers to eat in for £10 as opposed to dining out, where they have the additional 20% VAT on their bill.”

He said Whiting & Hammond, which has eight pubs and employs 337 staff, had paid almost £1.2m VAT alone over the last 12 months.

He said: “If a percentage of this huge figure was freed up, we would definitely look to open up additional sites, thus creating more jobs, which in turn would support the local community.”

Tax Equality Day is run by Jacques Borel’s VAT Club. For more information go to www.vatclubjacquesborel.co.uk​.

Related topics: Legislation

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3 comments

Picnic V. Eating out

Posted by michele walker,

My credit card urged its customers to save money and take a picnic rather than eat out.Supermarkets win again!!!

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Improved offer on the way?

Posted by david,

I understand the new CEO of Tesco is conducting a root 'n branch examination of its customer offer after some 'disappointing' trading results.

Now, with my brand of lager currently costing at Tesco one quarter the price it is at my local pubs, my Tesco 'fuel-save' offering me 20p per litre at my next fill-up (£12), my ClubCard points vouchers totalling £42.50 this quarter and a further £9.50 in very redeemable coupons, the convenience of home delivery plus yet more points by using my Tesco MasterCard, to be honest I'm wondering how much better Tesco can actually make my life.

Of course Minimum Unit Pricing will level the playing field a bit !!!!

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Dine in for £10 including a VAT element.

Posted by Interested Observer,

Mr Whiting is being a little misleading in his Dine in for £10 case.

These deals include wine, of which the value must be at least £2.50(duty+VAT).

That leaves at most £7.50 for the food, which would add £1.50 if that were also VATable.

The level playing field would then be Dine in for £11.50 (for two) versus dine out for £???.

I don't think there would be a stampede to the pubs.

As always with the 5% VAT case there is the problem of the (VAT club acknowledged) immediate reduction in government revenue of almost £8bn pa (if alcohol were included), against the hope of the claimed benefits over time.

Not a risk the Chancellor would want to take in these difficult times I would have thought. Especially as he would take the loss, and the next government the claimed gains!

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