Well we all know that the government love their taxes, but surely they’re taking it a little too far by aiming to tax our bakery delights?!
The government have recently made plans to add 20% VAT to the price of hot savoury food, as of October this year. Chancellor George Osborne has said all food sold “above ambient temperature” should be liable for VAT and therefore our beloved bakeries should be adding VAT to the price of their sausage rolls, pasties and other hot treats.
The ridiculous system is set to add VAT to the price of anything that comes straight from the oven, meaning customers will be taking their Christmas mince pies and Easter hot cross bun’s home with a side order of 20% VAT.
Bakers in York are urging customers to sign petitions against the pasty tax. Cooplands, Thomas the Baker and Greggs already have thousands of signatures against the government’s plans. Cooplands Bakery, which has branches in Bridge Street, Davygate and York Road in Acomb, has already collected more than a thousand signatures and had received a “brilliant response” to the campaign from customers. Greggs, which has branches in Church Street, Pavement, Coney Street, Jubbergate and Acomb, has also got petitions in all of its stores. Staff are desperate for signatures to keep the bakery business in full swing.
And campaigning doesn’t just stop at petitions, hundreds of bakers are set to take on a one-mile march in London on 26 April to humiliate Chancellor George Osborne over his half-baked plan to add 20% VAT to our freshly baked goodies. With marchers planning to carry a figure of the chancellor mocked up as a “pie-wayman”, they will meet at Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire of London began in a bakery in 1666, and will march over to Downing Street.
General Manager of Thomas the Baker, Simon Thomas, said: “As many of our loyal customers know, if you arrive at one of our shops just as the sausage rolls are coming out of the oven, they will be hot. However, if you arrive half an hour later that same product will be cold. So who will determine if that product has dropped below ‘ambient’, and whether or not to charge VAT on it?”
He then goes on to say: “If you are behind the last person in the lunchtime queue who just purchased an ‘ambient’ pasty without VAT, and then you buy a freshly-baked pasty just as it comes out of the oven, you will be charged 20% more than the person in front of you. We will find this situation impossible to police.”
Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has backed the local bakers’ campaign against the tax, describing it as “a kick in the teeth to bakers.” To prevent the pasty tax, the public most certainly need to raise their voices, so if you, like John Prescott, disagree with the idea of 20% VAT on hot savoury foods pop into one of York’s local bakery’s and sign a petition.
Is it really fair to charge different prices for the same batch of sausage rolls due to their temperature?