Supermarkets selling beer and cider for 75p a pint

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Call for action: JDW's Tim Martin wants equality between supermarkets and pubs
Call for action: JDW's Tim Martin wants equality between supermarkets and pubs

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An investigation by The Morning Advertiser has revealed supermarkets are selling lager and cider for as little as 75p a pint.

The news has prompted JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin to call on pubcos to join the fight for tax equality against supermarkets. 

With six weeks to go until Christmas, The Morning Advertiser​ (MA​) investigation has found that supermarket deals were hugely undercutting prices that pubs can offer.

Asda is offering three packs of 12 cans of 440ml Foster's for £21. This equates to 75p a pint.

Meanwhile, Morrisons is offering a similar deal on ciders for £21 that has seen three cases of Strongbow (12 cans at 440ml) equating to the same price of 75p per pint.

It is not just beer that is getting the promotional treatment from the supermarket chains.

Morrisons is also offering two bottles for £22 on selected spirits. These include brands such as Smirnoff Red Label Vodka, Bacardi Superior Rum and Gordon’s Special Dry London Gin. Calculations by MA​ have worked out this equates to 39p per 25ml shot.

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has called on the boardrooms of major pub companies to get behind the campaign for tax equality. He said pubcos have got “into trouble” or “gone downhill” due to tax burdens.

“For too long, the boards of the big pubcos have said nothing much about this,” he said.

“But they now need get behind the campaign for tax equality because the price differential has grown and grown.”

He said this was the “inevitable” result of the different tax regime. 

“Supermarkets pay no VAT on food and they only pay 2p a pint on business rates and we pay 18p per pint,” he told MA​.

“This is way below the cost price of a pub when you factor in just the basic rent, wages etc. When you add to the fact it costs is 90p a pint in wages to sell it, the tax burden becomes too much."

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