PUB CHAIN WETHERSPOON will cut the price of all food and drinks in its pubs by 7.5 per cent this Thursday.

Bosses at the national chain said the move is to highlight the benefit of a permanent VAT reduction in the hospitality industry.

That means pubs throughout the region will all be offering discounted prices for a limited period. 

A pint of beer costing £1.99 will be reduced to £1.84 and a traditional breakfast costing £3.59 will cost £3.32 on the day.

Darlington Pubs:

  • The William Stead 
  • The Tanners Hall

County Durham Pubs:

  • The Horse Shoe Inn, Crook
  • The Company Row, Consett
  • The Stanley Jefferson, Bishop Auckland
  • The Grand Electric Hall, Spennymoor
  • The Water House, Durham
  • The Bishops' Mill, Durham
  • The Wicket Gate, Chester-le-Street
  • The Hat and Feathers, Seaham

At present, all pub food and drinks are subject to five per cent VAT as a result of the VAT cut by the chancellor in July 2020.

This is set to stop on Friday, October 1, when the VAT rate will rise to 12.5 per cent, with the aim of returning to 20 per cent, in stages, by 2022.

By comparison, supermarkets pay zero VAT on food and are able to use that saving to sell alcohol to customers at a discounted price.

Wetherspoon’s chairman, Tim Martin, said: “Taxes should be fair and equitable.

“However, 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, owing to the tax disadvantages which they have with supermarkets.

The Northern Echo: Wetherspoon’s chairman, Tim MartinWetherspoon’s chairman, Tim Martin

“Customers in our pubs on Tax Equality Day will find that the price of their food and drinks will be lower than normal.

“However, as a result of the VAT increase to 12.5 per cent, we will have to increase food prices by around 50p per meal.

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

“He should note that the main impact of tax inequality is on high streets and town and city centres, which depend heavily on a diversity of prosperous hospitality businesses for economic, social and employment success.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054