8:10am Tuesday 17th September 2013
By Emma Rigby
A PUB landlord has joined the national fight to reduce the rate of value added tax (VAT) in pubs and restaurants across Britain.
Gerard Dowd, licensee of The Horshoe Inn in Kingsley, will be taking part in the campaign on September 25 to demonstrate the benefits of a reduction in VAT rates in the pub and restaurant sector from 20 per cent to five per cent.
The campaign, which has been organised by VAT Club Jacques Borel, will see the pub slash its prices by 7.5 per cent for one day to create a level tax playing field for pubs.
“The effect of this reduction would reduce a bill of £60 for food and drink to £54.60,” said 47-year-old Gerard, who runs the pub with his partner Lorna Vernon.
“The Horshoe Inn is a meeting place for many people in Kingsley, both as a social hub and as a place to do business – local associations, business forums and clubs meet here regularly.”
The father-of-two, from Norley, says being subject to 20 per cent VAT runs the risk of losing some of the services they offer if they can no longer make a profit.
He added: “Currently supermarkets pay virtually no VAT on food sales which allows them to sell alcohol at low prices, threatening pub businesses and jobs – especially in rural areas.
“A reduction in VAT would allow village pubs like the Horshoe to compete on price and create jobs.
“A similar VAT cut in France from 19.6 per cent to five per cent created 225,000 jobs in the first year alone.
“We just want to be able to compete on a level playing field with other businesses.”
The campaign is backed by chains including JD Wetherspoon, Pizza Hut, Road Chef, Shepherd Neame, Brains and Robinsons.
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