JDW to slash prices for Tax Equality Day

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Fair opportunity: Tim Martin is calling for tax equality
Fair opportunity: Tim Martin is calling for tax equality

Related tags Tax equality Jd wetherspoon Tim martin

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon (JDW) is to cut the price of all food and drink in its pubs by 7.5% on Thursday, 23 September – to highlight the benefit of a permanent VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.

Prices at the company’s 862 pubs (not including Republic of Ireland) will be reduced for one day only to mark Tax Equality Day.

JDW chairman Tim Martin has revealed that as the Government is set to up the VAT rate to 12.5% on 1 October the pub operator will be increasing its food prices by 50p a meal on Wednesday 29 September. 

Food and drink in pubs is currently subject to 5% VAT as a result of the made cut by the Chancellor in July 2020.

This will change on Friday, 1 October, when the VAT rate will rise to 12.5%. The Government plans to return VAT to 20% in stages, in 2022.


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

JDW 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%

“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades due to the tax disadvantages that they have with supermarkets."

Tax Equality Day

He added: “Customers in our pubs will find the price of their food and drink will be lower than normal on Tax Equality Day.

“However, as a result of the VAT increase to 12.5 per cent on October 1, we will have to increase food prices.”

He urged the Chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets by making the current VAT regime for pubs permanent

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


Related topics JD Wetherspoon

Related news