Tax Equality Day – A valid excuse for a lunch time pint
At Tamebay we like a pint or too and we’re guessing a lot of our readers do too. That’s why today is a great day to take a break and go out for lunch and take your staff with you. Either that, or treat them to a pint after work.
Today is Tax Equality Day, organised by the Jacques Borel’s VAT Club, it encourages members of the pub and restaurant trade to lower their prices by 7.5% to demonstrate the value of a 5% reduction in VAT rates for the hospitality trade. Pubs, restaurants, bars and clubs all pay 20% VAT whereas many supermarkets pay zero VAT on food sales and Tax Equality Day aims to highlight the disparity.
The group, formed in early 2010, is led by Monsieur Jacques Borel, who has successfully campaigned for lower VAT rates across Europe. The members of the Vat Club Jacques Borel are a cross-section of 40 high profile companies from the pub, restaurant, hotel and foodservice segments who are keen to promote the employment benefits of a lower VAT rate for the sector.
We’re all in favour of lower prices for beer and for eating out, especially with the ever increasing amount of pub closures. There are forty major supporters of Tax Equality Day (although sadly they don’t all serve alcohol!) including the likes of JD Wetherspoons, Prêt a Manger, Shepherd Neame, TGI Friday’s, Young & Co, WH Brakspear, Punch Taverns and Fuller’s.
The Publican’s guide say that “Last years event helped to boost sales by up to 20% in some places. Wetherspoons saw an increase of between 10 and 23% and are hoping for better this year as they are aiming to make it the busiest day of their year”.
Enjoy your pint!
Jacques Borel has been campaigning on this for years and his evidence is compelling.
If you lower vat on hospitality and leisure industry, you more than make up for the lost tax revenue with people spending more, job creation and regeneration. Urge anyone interested to take a look at his work.
For me it actually speaks to the minimum wage post Chris made earlier in the week. If you lower vat to 5% that gives more scope to employers in pubs restaurants and hotels and the like to give wage rises in industries where the staff are notoriously low paid.
Actually the evidence is far from compelling.
The special pleading of these various interest groups should always be treated with extreme caution.
The idea that these businesses will use any extra income to pay their staff better wages or benefits is just pure fantasy.
The real solution is actually to broaden the tax base for VAT by eliminating all the various exemptions.
So VAT will be paid on all services, childrens clothes, food, alcohol etc bought from anywhere as well as all charity exemptions eliminated so we can then have a level playing field which will also generate substantial increased VAT revenues which can then be used for targeted reliefs.
Unpalatable, unpopular and extremely unlikely politically – yes of course but actually a more honest solution than this nonsense from another special interest lobby group.