Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thousands Sign Up to Pasty Tax Protest; Signatures Put Pressure on the Chancellor

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Thousands Sign Up to Pasty Tax Protest; Signatures Put Pressure on the Chancellor

Article excerpt

Byline: Erinn Kerr

HUNDREDS of thousands of Greggs customers have raised the pressure on Chancellor George Osborne to scrap a tax on pasties.

More than 200,000 customers of the Tyneside-based chain have so far signed the in-store petitions, with the number rising by the day.

Thousands more have backed other petitions including one by North East bakers Dickson's and The Journal's own Save our Savouries campaign.

These figures mark a growing pressure on the Chancellor to reconsider his decision to add a 20% tax on the value of hot takeaway items such as steak bakes and sausage rolls.

Greggs and other companies continued to voiced their concerns this week amid fears the tax will hit jobs.

The pasty tax was among the first in a series of coalition blunders that followed George Osborne's March Budget, including the fuel crisis and his "granny tax". Last night Richard Hutton, Greggs finance director, said the firm had received an "overwhelming response from customers".

He added: "In the first week of the petition over 200,000 people have already signed up, with the number rising daily. I'd like to thank our customers and also everyone who has supported The Journal's campaign as well. "I'd encourage people to continue signing up to the campaign.

"That will allow us to make the strongest possible case on behalf of customers when we take the petition to Downing Street later this month."

Although the Greggs campaign holds the most clout in the fight against the Chancellor's decision, other campaigns are running alongside it.

Both The Journal and 59-year-old family business Dickson's have organised petitions to a similar effect.

Michael Dickson, managing director of Dickson's said he had been overwhelmed by the support his campaign has received.

He said: "In less than a week we have had more than 2,500 signatures on our petition, quite a significant number for a regional business like ours. …

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