Pubs refuse to pass on VAT cuts on food and soft drinks to punters

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MANY pubs are refusing to pass on the discounted rate of VAT on food and soft drinks to customers.

A poll of 163 found 137 said they would not be passing on the cut.

Of the 26 pubs who are are going to pass on the discount, eight said they will pass on 15 per cent, 10 will pass on five to 7.5 per cent, six will pass on eight to 14 per cent and four said they will pass on less than five per cent.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced earlier this month that the rate of VAT on food and non-alcoholic drinks will be cut from 20 per cent to five per cent until January 2021.

The Government has confirmed it wanted to see businesses giving the benefits of its VAT cut to customers where possible.

The survey of pubs was carried out by pollsters HIM/MCA Insight for publicans’ magazine The Morning Advertiser.

A Treasury spokesman told the magazine: “We want businesses to pass on the benefit to customers if they can and almost four in five businesses said they did so in 2008.

“But we recognise many of these businesses have been closed and without income for months and decisions on prices are ultimately for businesses rather than the government.”

Two in three pubs, restaurants and take-aways are confident about the future of their business post covid lockdown.

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