Splat the VAT!

Broadstairs Travel Blog

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Splat the VAT.

After what was the slightly annoying commercialism of the previous day with the ludicrous "International speak like a pirate day" which I mentioned in the previous journal entry for those that may have landed here from elsewhere, the Wednesday proved to be a little better in the Prince Albert as it was designated "splat the VAT" day.

For those not from the United Kingdom, Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax on what are supposed to be luxury items but, in truth, nobody except a tax expert has the faintest idea how it actually works.  For many years VAT was charged on women's sanitary protection although I believe this is no longer the case after some serious lobbying.  Luxury item?  Trying to untangle VAT is a complete minefield which is probably what the politicians wanted in the first place.

Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.


I am a fairly simple man and I do not even pretend to understand how it all works but I know from personal experience that pubs in the UK are closing hand over fist and something really needs to be done about it.  I do not say this just because I like a drink and make no secret of it but because, especially in rural areas and small villages, the local pub is very much the social hub and they are currently closing at the rate of about 25 a week in England and Wales.  There are very many reasons for this and the VAT is undoubtedly one.  It is all to do with the differing rates that pubs have to pay as opposed to supermarkets so people are just sitting indoors and drinking (where they can at least smoke in their own home as well) as they cannot afford to go to the pub any more.
Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.


"Splat the VAT" is a concept whereby pubs sell their product as if there was no punitive VAT applied for one day.  In the case of the Albert that meant 10% off everything all day.  Suits me although it must have been murders for the staff as a pint was coming to, say, £3:41 or some obscure price like that.  I know that I have never seen so many coppers (one and two pence coins) going across a bar in a long time.

Having taken advantage of the lowered prices I knew I had to rein myself in a bit as I had been invited to play at the local Folk session in the Tartar Frigate that night.  I popped into the Dolphin pub (see attached review) for a quick one with friends before collecting the baby  (my guitar) and heading off to the gig which was hugely enjoyable and full of many dear friends.
Viking Bay at night.


When I left I must confess that I spent a bit of time just looking out over Viking Bay which is something I never tire of.  I had the place more or less to myself, the tide was out and the sea flat calm so the only sound was a very quiet lapping of waves on the beach.  I have added an image here which is not too good as I only had a compact camera hand-held but I hope it goves some impression.

Back along Harbour Street which just seems to get steeper every time I walk up it and the very short walk to my digs for a bite to eat and off to bed for a read and another night's gratefully received sleep.

Stay tuned.

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Splat the VAT.
Splat the VAT.
Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.
Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.
Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.
Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.
Viking Bay at night.
Viking Bay at night.
Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.
Dolphin Pub, Broadstairs.
Broadstairs
photo by: planxty