Shoreditch pub fights back against VAT hike

AN EAST End pub is fighting back against the VAT hike to 20 per cent.

The Joiners Arms in Hackney Road has decided not to pass on the price increase on drinks but change its admission charging policy instead.

The gay pub and has flown the Freedom Flag since 1997 when landlord Dave Pollard took over.

A banner in the pub window said: “VAT increases have meant our customers paying 10p more for a pint or bottle and we have decided there must be another way.

“Our radical approach should mean that we can continue to offer our customers a great place to be.

“By changing admission charging times, freezing beer prices and extending our extraordinary offer of �2.50 per pint before 11pm Monday to Thursday we hope to defeat the coalition government’s Evil Intent.”

The pub declared that since it opened 14 years ago it has aimed to be “a home for the Joyful Sinner.”

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Chancellor George Osborne increased VAT to 20 per cent on January 4, with the aim of bringing in an extra �13 billion revenue a year.

In a bid to encourage people to spend more the Labour administration dropped VAT to 15 per cent in 2008 for a year and it reverted to 17.5 per cent last year.

Pub landlord Dave Pollard said he is keeping the early evening beer prices down by bringing forward the admission charging from 12.30am to 11.30pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Mr Pollard said: “We try not to rip people off. What we want is for people to come to the pub and it should be affordable. I am very traditional about the pub.”

He added: “We try to do things differently.”

The pub offers a range of beer including Greene King IPA, Kronenberg, St Miguel, Heineken, Fosters and Carlsberg.

After 11pm the prices of beer goes up as the late night crowd arrives.

Mr Pollard who has run the pub since 1997 said the admission charge covers the price of security and DJs at the bar.

East London Advertiser Pub Spy columnists said that it is rare to find a pint below �3.50 in London.

The Good Pub guide 2011 reports that the average price of a pint in London is �2.90, with the national average at �2.68.

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