JD Wetherspoon has warned customers that they will have to increase the price of his meals due to the government’s “Monty Python” VAT rules.
The pub chain has slammed the government for rules that will strengthen supermarkets rather than the hotel industry.
Hot food served in pubs and restaurants typically has a 20% VAT rate, although that rate was reduced to 5% during the pandemic.
Wetherspoons said plans to reduce VAT levels for hospitality foods to previous levels show an “injustice” to retail, where there is virtually no VAT.
“The temporary 12% VAT increase in September 2021 will force Wetherspoon to raise food prices by around 40 pence per meal,” the company said.
“The VAT hike will make the entire hotel industry less competitive with powerful supermarkets.
“So for many years UK governments behaved like Monty Python’s Dennis Moore – who robbed the poor (in this case pubs and restaurants) to help the rich (supermarkets).
“Treating the same product, the same food, the same for tax purposes makes economic sense. ”
The warning comes as Wetherspoons has said it expects a loss for the current fiscal year after sales since the reopening slipped below pre-pandemic levels.
He said comparable sales from May 17, when hospitality locations were able to reopen indoors, to July 4 were down 14.6% from the same period last year.
The chain told its shareholders that this drop in sales accelerated as the Euro 2020 tournament unfolded.
Wetherspoons said sales since June 10, when the football tournament started, have fallen by more than a fifth, with the group’s ads not showing games except for a limited number of exceptions.
President and Founder Tim Martin said, “The company continues to expect a loss for the year ending July 25.
“In a January 19 business update, the company’s primary ‘scenario’ estimated that sales for the fiscal year beginning July 26 were in line with fiscal 2019, which remains our current best estimate, over the basis for lifting the restrictions, because the Government currently intends.
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This notice was published: 2021-07-07 09:47:40