​Wetherspoon Chief Blasts Tories on Business Policies

​Wetherspoon Chief Blasts Tories on Business Policies

Posted by Emily on 7th Oct 2023

Tim Martin, the head of the pub chain Wetherspoon, has criticised the Conservatives, accusing them of neglecting business interests.Cask beer pumps on the Bar at the Broken Bridge, Horsefair, Pontefract (4th December 2022) Mtaylor848, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Highlighting the recent increase in corporation tax from 19% to 25% by Rishi Sunak this April, Martin expressed concerns that such decisions could deter investors from the UK. He remarked, "The Government's decision to raise corporation tax so significantly has made the UK less competitive than countries like Ireland, deterring foreign investments."

He further commented, "The main issue isn't the Conservatives 'failure to support', but rather a diminishing faith in free enterprise. There was a time when it was a given that a friendly tax system was essential to attract businesses."

Recently on LBC Radio, Martin, who supported Brexit, hinted at possibly supporting Labour if their policies were appealing. This comes just before Labour's conference in Liverpool, where the party is trying to win over business leaders, especially with the apparent rifts in the Conservative party.

Palladium-electric-wetherspoons-midsomer-norton Gcmackay, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Martin further stated, "There's been a noticeable shift. Both major parties nowadays seem less committed to the merits of free enterprise, and fewer politicians truly understand it. This has resulted in a stronger reliance on government intervention. The business-friendly views held by figures like Margaret Thatcher and even Tony Blair seem to be a thing of the past."

Wetherspoon reported a record sales increase in related news, attributing it to offering cost-effective options during the recent economic challenges. Despite facing inflation, the pub chain saw a 10.6% rise in revenues, amounting to £1.9 billion last year. Martin credited this to the company's commitment to maintaining competitive prices. Although the company's pre-tax profits showed improvement, they were not up to pre-pandemic levels, which affected their shares slightly. However, sales are picking up in Wetherspoon pubs across the UK.


Sources:

Drinkers won't stomach weaker beer, Wetherspoons boss warns

Britain's tax competitiveness is hurtling towards 'cliff edge deterioration'

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