Wetherspoons throws weight behind The Sun’s Save Our Sups campaign — calling for government help to rescue boozers | The Sun

BOSSES of the UK’s biggest pub chains have thrown their weight behind The Sun’s Save Our Sups campaign — calling for government help to rescue boozers.

They want Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to extend business rate relief and freeze alcohol duty in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

JD Wetherspoon, Greene King and Yates’s owner Stonegate are backing our calls.

They are joined by Young’s plus Fuller, Smith & Turner.

It comes amid warnings that 10,000 pubs could be forced to close in the new year if government support is withdrawn.

Higher prices for beer, energy, menu items and staff have already pushed the average price of a pint to a record £4.67, threatening trade.

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Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin said: “We fully support The Sun’s campaign.

“Pubs are wildly overtaxed, paying two per cent VAT on food sales, whereas supermarkets pay nothing.”

Stonegate boss David McDowall added: “The hospitality sector has faced unprecedented threats over the past year. The lifeline has been relief on business rates.”

Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie said: “We’ve invested heavily in our pubs, but at the same time the cost of doing business continues to increase.”

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Young’s boss Simon Dodd explained that freezing alcohol duty and business rates relief will “revive many struggling operators and breathe life back into our high streets”.

And Fuller, Smith & Turner’s Simon Emeny said an extension to business rates relief “will be the difference between staying open and closing their doors for good” for many pubs.

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