Tax Equality Day to highlight benefits of VAT cut

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Tax Food and drink Government Vat club

Tax Equality Day will see restaurants and bars slash food and drink prices to highlight the benefits of a VAT cut
Tax Equality Day will see restaurants and bars slash food and drink prices to highlight the benefits of a VAT cut
Campaigners are once again asking restaurants and pubs to slash prices on food and drink for a day in September to highlight the benefits of a VAT cut.

Tax Equality Day, which is being organised by Jacques Borel’s VAT Club, will take place on 24 September.

Restaurants and pubs will be asked to cut food and drink prices by 7.5 per cent on the day to demonstrate the benefits that cutting VAT on food and drink served in hospitality would have for operators and consumers.

Business benefits

The event will follow on from last year’s Tax Parity Day, which involved 15,000 UK pubs and restaurants​ and helped boost sales by as much as 20 per cent.

Jacques Borel said: “Tax Parity Day was an outstanding success and the perfect way to reinforce our message the public that lower VAT in the hospitality sector will deliver lower prices and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“Although we have changed the name to Tax Equality Day, the message remains the same.”

Operators that have signed up to take part in Tax Equality Day include Wetherspoons, which will cut food and drink prices across its 900 plus pubs in the UK.

The group saw a 10-23 per cent uplift on food and drink sales in its pubs on Tax Parity Day last year.

VAT debate

Currently, food and drink in pubs and restaurants is subject to a 20 per cent tax, while food in supermarkets has a zero VAT rate.

Campaigners argue this is putting the hospitality sector at a disadvantage, and want to see VAT cut to 5 per cent.

They are also calling on the government to slash VAT on hotel accommodation and visitor attractions.

Parliament held its first debate​ on the issue in February, with a cross-party group of ministers arguing that cutting hospitality and tourism VAT would benefit the UK economy by increasing jobs and encouraging foreign and domestic visitors to spend more in the UK.

However, the government rejected the argument, claiming that cutting hospitality VAT would cost too much and create a revenue shortfall.  

VAT is one of the issues that industry leaders hoped would be addressed in George Osborne's 2014 Budget​, but the Chancellor made no reference to it.

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