Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin warns food prices at its pubs will rise if VAT goes up
Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin said prices for pub food will rise if VAT goes up
Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin has warned food prices at its pubs will rise if VAT goes up.
The tax was slashed on food sold in pubs and restaurants from 20 per cent to 5 per cent during the pandemic to help struggling businesses. But VAT returns to 12.5 per cent in September and then to normal levels in stages over next year.
Wetherspoons will increase meal prices by at least 40p. But Martin wants to see Chancellor Rishi Sunak keep the tax at 5pc indefinitely, adding that the rise will hurt pubs just as the industry is recovering from the pandemic.
He believes the VAT tax is unfair as supermarkets, which made huge profits during the crisis, pay no VAT on food.
He said: ‘This will hurt. I’ve been arguing for tax equality with the supermarkets for the past ten years. Putting the levy back up is like robbing the poor to give to the rich.’
Wetherspoons said that despite restrictions easing, sales were still down 14.6 per cent between May 17 and July 4, when pubs were fully open again.