The chairman of one of the U.K.'s biggest pub chains, JD Wetherspoon, said the future of the British boozer hinges on supermarkets being taxed the same rate for alcohol sales.
Tim Martin said the government had chosen "probably in ignorance" to widen the tax disparity between supermarkets and pubs – a situation which he said is "ridiculous".
"If you have got two businesses next door to each other, selling the same thing, they should pay approximately the same tax. Everyone agrees that, they just don't know how to get there," Martin told CNBC after the group posted earnings for the first half of its financial year.
"It helps that there is good weather – but the future of pubs very much depends on gaining tax equality. You pay 15p of business rates per pint when you buy a pint in a pub and 1.5p in a supermarket. The situation on VAT is ridiculous," he said.