The Penny Black in Northwich is cutting all prices by 7.5% for one day only

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A NORTHWICH pub is cutting the price of all food and drink for one day – to highlight the benefit of a permanent VAT reduction for hospitality businesses

Prices at The Penny Black Wetherspoon pub, in Witton Street, will be reduced by 7.5 per cent on Thursday, September 23, to mark Tax Equality Day.

This means a pint of beer costing £1.99 will be reduced to £1.84, while a traditional breakfast at £3.59 will be available for £3.32 on the day.

At present all food and drink in pubs is subject to five per cent VAT as a result of the VAT cut by the Chancellor in July 2020.

However, this will change on October 1 when the VAT rate will rise to 12.5 per cent, with the government’s aim of returning VAT to 20 per cent, in stages, in 2022.

Charlotte Bailey, the manager at the pub, bemoaned the fact supermarkets pay zero VAT on food and use the saving to sell alcohol to customers at a cheaper price.

She said: “It is unfair that supermarkets pay zero VAT on food, but pubs and restaurants, in normal circumstances, pay 20 per cent.

“Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades due to the tax disadvantages it has with supermarkets.

“Customers coming to The Penny Black on Thursday, September 23, will find the price of their food and drink is lower than normal.

“However, as a result of the VAT increase to 12.5 per cent on October 1, we will have to increase food prices.

“Therefore, on Wednesday, September 29, we will increase prices on our meals by 50p.

“We urge the Chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets by making the current VAT regime for pubs permanent.”