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Wetherspoon Founder Says Taxes Killing Pubs

News: November 2016

Tim Martin, founder of the pub chain JD Wetherspoon, has launched a new attack on inequality in taxation that favours supermarkets over pubs.

Martin, a long-standing campaigner on levels of VAT – pubs pay 20% on food sales but supermarkets pay none – has now added business rates to his argument that outlines how off-trade retailers have a distinct financial advantage over the on-trade.

In a detailed article released to the media, Martin says that the focus on excise duty, while important, is not the key issue in the on- versus off-trade imbalance, as both sides benefit from any reductions in excise duty.

A forthcoming rise in business rates, he says, will impact more on pubs that pay a higher percentage of their sales revenue in business rates than supermarkets, leading to a further widening of the price differential between the two outlets.

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