JD Wetherspoon To Create 1,200 Jobs

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The pub chain JD Wetherspoon (LSE: JDW.L - news) has announced plans to create 1,200 jobs during 2013 and said the number would have been greater but for the tax regime facing the industry.

The expansion plans will see 30 pubs open in cities across the UK, adding to the firm's current total of 866 pubs and bars.

The company is to invest more than "£35m in areas including Cardiff, Fort William, Selby, Whitby, New Brighton and Fraserburgh.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: "We are looking forward to opening the new pubs, many of which will be in areas where Wetherspoon is not yet represented.

"We are also pleased to be creating so many new jobs, especially during a recession."

But he continued: "There is no question that we would open more pubs and create more jobs in 2013 if the increasing tax burden on pubs was reduced."

Mr Martin has criticised successive Governments on tax.

While beer duty increases have hurt pub numbers, he has long argued that supermarkets have an unfair advantage because they do not have to pay the 20% VAT on food that pubs do, meaning more people opt to stay at home.

He blamed an increasing tax take for his decision to limit the company's expansion plans during 2012.

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