Tax haven-based pub chain which owns Slug & Lettuce and Yates takes millions in taxpayers’ cash to furlough 16,500 staff

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Stonegate Pubs, which owns Slug & Lettuce, Walkabout and Yates, has used government schemes while smaller businesses struggle.

The owner of Slug & Lettuce, Walkabout and Yates has used the government’s furlough scheme despite being based in a tax haven

The company has paid no corporation tax in the UK citing “exceptional costs” which included buying other businesses and bonuses.

The British Pub Confederation said public cash was not meant for “structures that make lots of money”.

Its Chair, Greg Mulholland, wrote to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to highlight how big firms are taking advantage of the schemes designed to help curb smaller businesses going bust.

In the letter, he said: “It surely cannot be the intention of the Govt for the grants provided to pubs to be funnelled into such offshore companies based in tax havens.”

Speaking to HOAR he added: “People should only be accessing this money to survive this unprecedented period – that applies to everyone.

“And I’m not prepared for my taxes to be spent on structures that are propping up rich people getting richer.”

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, who sits on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said: “A few companies have screwed the system by avoiding tax when the going is good, but have come running to the government in this crisis.”

Stonegate said it filed UK corporation tax returns.

A spokesperson said: “Stonegate is a Cayman incorporated company and is a tax resident in the United Kingdom.

“The company files UK corporation tax returns on an annual basis as well as paying all UK employment tax and associated costs, last year contributing over £300million.

“We also invest in the region of £80million each year in maintaining and refurbishing our pubs and bars, employ over 16,500 people and support many more local businesses within our communities.”

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