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Harrogate business’s plea to Chancellor over VAT in run-up to Autumn Statement

Simon Midgley, owner of Harrogate’s Starling Independent Bar Cafe Kitchen, as work progresses on it £250k expansion. (Picture Gerard Binks)

Simon Midgley, Harrogate born-and-bred owner of Starling Independent Bar Cafe Kitchen, said he agreed with the boss of Wetherspoon that the Government should tackle what the industry regards as the ‘unfair’ competition the hospitality sector is facing from the retail sector during the worst cost of living crisis for decades.

“Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin has been sensibly banging the drum for long-term VAT parity with supermarkets rather than simply looking for short term support by way of a grant or something similar,” said Mr Midgeley whose Oxford Street-based business is about to reopen after a £250,000 expansion.

“Supermarkets pay no VAT on all the food they sell while pubs and restaurants are taxed at 20% on their sales.

“Due to surplus profits this creates, supermarkets are then able to choose…

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