NINE Wetherspoon pubs across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be reducing the price of their food and drinks for one day only.

The pubs will mark down their menus by 7.5 per cent on Thursday, September 23, to highlight their calls for a permanent VAT reduction in the hospitality industry on Tax Equality Day.

So, for example, 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.

The pubs taking part are; The Moon in the Square in Exeter Road, The Mary Shelley in The Quadrant Centre and The Christopher Creeke in Holdenhurst Road, all in Bournemouth, as well as The Nightjar in Victoria Road, Ferndown, The Parkstone and Heatherlands in Wimborne Road, Winton, The Man in the Wall in West Borough, Wimborne, The Blackwater Stream in Lower Blandford Road, Broadstone, The Lord Wimborne in Lagland Street and The Quay in The Quay, both in Poole.

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, Rishi Sunak, 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.

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

The Moon in the Square manager, Terri Balloni, 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 Moon in the Square 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."