Wetherspoons is slashing prices at all of its Portsmouth pubs for one day only

It is already widely known as a budget-friendly drinking establishment, but for one day next week Wetherspoon prices in Portsmouth are set to drop even further.

On Thursday, September 13 the UK-wide pub chain will cut prices by 7.5 per cent.

Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

To highlight Tax Equality Day, the one-day price cut aims to highlight the benefit of a VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.

Currently all food in pubs is subject to 20 per cent VAT. However, supermarkets benefit from a zero per cent VAT rate on the majority of food products.

Cheaper booze across most of the UK

Every single Wetherspoon pub in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will take part in the campaign but because of strict licensing laws in Scotland the saving will only be applicable on food, soft drinks and hot beverages.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: ‘Pubs suffer a huge disadvantage paying about 16 pence in business rates per pint versus about two pence for supermarkets.

‘In addition there is a huge VAT inequality and unfairness.

‘A reduction in the level of VAT on a long-term basis will create a level playing field and generate growth and jobs in an important and vital industry – especially in beleaguered high streets.’ 

Martin added: ‘We’re aiming to make it the busiest day of the entire year in our pubs and would urge other pub and restaurant operators to participate too.’ 

It is a move welcomed by industry organisation including the UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

Price of beer ‘too high’

Last month a report by YouGov found that the majority of Brits (56 per cent) find the price of a pint unaffordable.

The November budget is expected to see Beer Duty rise by around 2 per cent per pint, which will inevitably affect the cost of a pint.

According to the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), pubs will be set to lose £1,000 in Business Rate Relief.

UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls, said: ‘Tax Equality Day is a great way to highlight just how hospitality businesses are disproportionately hit by VAT.

‘The tax disparity between the hospitality sector and supermarkets is still far too high. Pubs are paying around a third of their turnover in tax compared to a fifth for big supermarkets able to sell alcohol at very cheap prices.

‘A cut in the rate of VAT for the hospitality sector can help address this unfairness and allow pubs and bars to invest in their businesses and staff members.

‘We hope that everyone will support this year’s Tax Equality Day and send a clear and unequivocal message to the Chancellor to give the sector the VAT cut it deserves.’