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Wetherspoons to slash beer prices

Added: Monday, March 25th 2013

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon is to lower the price of a pint across  its pubs from Tuesday (March 26).
It is reducing the price of a pint of Ruddles Bitter and Greene King IPA to a maximum of £1.99 a pint in its pubs.
The company’s pubs, which already serve the two beers at £1.99, or less, will reduce the price by 5p.
This will apply to 845 of its 870 pubs, with just Wetherspoon’s central London and airport pubs excluded.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: ”In our recent interim results we pointed out that our taxes increased by £23.4 million to £273.5 million in the six months to 27 January 2013, even though our profits declined.
“The effect of the  budget has been to increase our excise duty costs by approximately £1.5 million, since the rise in duty for wine, spirits and cider was greater than the decline in beer duty.
“Other tax increases in the pipeline for rates, fruit machines and the late night levy will cost an additional £6 million.
“ However, Wetherspoon warmly welcomes the concession from the Chancellor in respect of beer and, as a result, we are reducing our prices.
“ We also urge the Chancellor to consider the advice of  Jacques Borel's 'VAT Club", supported by 'Fullers, Young’s, Heineken and many others, to reduce VAT for pubs and restaurants to supermarket levels. This will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and will increase government revenue.
“Each new Wetherspoon pub produces approximately £650,000 per annum for the government in taxes, as well as the creation of 45 jobs.
“Tax parity with supermarkets, will therefore, also provide a massive shot in the arm for declining high streets, where pubs, coffee shops and restaurants will help to fill empty buildings.”