McDonald's VAT reduction – full list of items that WON'T be cheaper after tax cut

MCDONALD'S has slashed prices on some of its most popular menu items from today thanks to a VAT rate drop.

Fast food fans are able to get their chops around a Big Mac or Happy Meal for less because of the 15 per cent tax cut.

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Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that VAT would drop from 20 per cent to 5 per cent to boost the tourism and hospitality industry during the coronavirus crisis.

The tax break comes into effect from today, with other food outlets also promising slashed prices.

Wetherspoons has reduced prices of food and drink by 28 per cent from today, while KFC has cut the cost of sharing buckets by £1 and "fan favourites" by 50p.

The rate cut kicks in today and is set to last for six months, until January 12 2021, and the idea is that businesses will pass on the savings to consumers through lower prices.

But not everything on the McDonald's menu has seen its price reduced. Here's what to expect when it comes to paying for your meal.

What items are not getting a price cut?

Mr Sunak's VAT cut doesn't apply to all food and drink consumed in a restaurant, pub or cafe – for example, alcohol is excluded.

It also doesn't apply to takeaway cold food, cold drinks and desserts.

McDonald's VAT price cuts

McDonald's has said it will reduce prices for fan favourites.

Here's some of the price changes recommended by the chain, which will be in place from 5am today.

  • A 50p reduction on breakfast meals.
  • 30p off the price of single McMuffins.
  • Black and white coffee for 99p, instead of £1.39.
  • Premium coffees such as cappuccino and latte for £1.49 instead of £1.79.
  • 20p off McNuggets, the Big Mac, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
  • 20p off other burgers such as the Filet O'Fish, McChicken sandwich and Veggie Deluxe.
  • A 40p reduction on Extra Value Meals.
  • 30p reduced for every Happy Meal.

These are the menu items that will not be subject to a price cut:

  • All McFlurries
  • Single portion of fries – small, medium or large
  • McNugget sharebox
  • Cheese sides
  • All cold drinks
  • All milkshakes

Companies don't have to pass on the rate drop to customers either, so McDonald's has only reduced the prices on its most popular items.

We've used Burgerlad's July 2020 price index to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

From today, McFlurries will stay the same price at 99p, while a McNuggets 20 piece sharebox will continue to cost £4.59.

A single portion of fries will also stay the same at 89p for a small, £1.09 for a medium and £1.39 for a large.

Cheese sides such as mozzarella dippers, Monterey Jack cheese melts, spicy nacho cheese wedges and red Leicester melts will also be listed at full price.

As McDonald's is currently running a reduced menu, cheese sides aren't actually available to buy yet but they may be added when things return to normal.

The cost of a diet drink will remain at 89p for a small, 99p for a medium and £1.29 for a large.

Milkshakes won't benefit from a price cut either, and will continue to set you back £1.69 for a medium or £1.99 for a large.

It's worth noting that franchisees can set their own prices – so customers are encouraged to check when they visit or use the My McDonald's app for the prices at their local branch.

What menu items have had a price cut?

Fan favourites like the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder with Cheese and six Chicken McNuggets have had their prices cut as a result of the VAT rate drop.

Extra Value Meals have had 40p knocked off the price, while Happy Meals have seen the cost fall by 30p.

All breakfast meals have had 50p wiped off the price.

The McCafe range has also seen a price reduction, offering black and white coffee for 99p and premium coffees such as cappuccino and latte for £1.49.

It’s the first time that McDonald’s has cut back prices across its menu – and it means a Big Mac meal now costs the same as it did in 2015. 

The roll back on prices only applies to takeaway and drive thru orders – not McDelivery. 

Can I dine-in at a McDonald's restaurant?

The majority of McDonald's branches are only open for takeaway and drive thru orders.

Maccie's is currently testing reopening for dine-ins at four restaurants in the UK and Ireland so that customers will be able to take advantage of half-price meals throughout August.

The government will pick up half of the bill when Brits eat out at a pub, restaurant or cafe that has registered to its Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

But it is only available when customers dine in – you'll have to pay full price on takeaways.

If the McDonald's trial is successful, then the fast-food chain will open up all branches for diners to sit in and eat their meal – but branches won't be the same as before.

The number of people allowed to sit inside the restaurants will be reduced by 70 per cent and it will only offer table service.

Hand sanitiser stations, social distancing floor markers and perspex screens have all been put up in stores to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

In an email to customers, McDonald's boss Paul Pomroy said: "We will be cleaning touchpoints and seating areas more frequently and we are testing this week how to reopen the outside seating areas in our restaurants to enable more customers to dine with us."

An update on the trial is expected to be announced later this week.



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