Tim Martin criticises “showboating” Jamie Oliver

Tim Martin criticises “showboating” Jamie Oliver
20/10/2015 - 14:22
JD Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin has criticised TV chef Jamie Oliver and his campaign for higher taxes on sugary drinks.

Oliver met this week with a select committee who were discussing childhood obesity. He urged the Prime Minister to be “as brave as he knows he should be” by introducing a sugar tax and tackling Britain’s growing obesity crisis. 

In response to Oliver’s campaigning, Tim Martin said: “A new tax on soft drinks will cost pubs millions at a time when prices in pubs are already very high compared to supermarkets.

“Jamie Oliver runs restaurants which cater to an affluent clientele. He is either courting the favour of the elite or is badly out of touch with the majority of people.

“I believe that he should campaign for tax equality for pubs, restaurants and supermarkets, since pubs and restaurants pay 20 per cent vat on food sales, compared to zero for supermarkets.

“Showboating of this kind by Jamie Oliver will close pubs.”

Martin also noted that Pepsi is now the company’s biggest selling draught product with 580,000 drinks served in the past seven days, of which 197,000 were Diet Pepsi.

Additionally, in the same period Wetherspoon’s 950 pubs served almost one million coffees and teas, which were served sugar-free.

He added: “Sales of non-sugar drinks in the non-alcoholic category are increasing at a rapid rate and are in the great majority, when you take into account coffee and tea.

 “Customers already pay a lot for soft drinks when they go out and we don’t need another ‘big brother’ tax.”

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