Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Coalition Expects a Pasty Tax Rebellion; Tories and Lib Dems Ordered to Attend Vote

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Coalition Expects a Pasty Tax Rebellion; Tories and Lib Dems Ordered to Attend Vote

Article excerpt

APASTY tax rebellion could hit the Government tomorrow as Greggs gears up for a Downing Street march. Coalition MPs have been ordered to be on standby for a vote amid claims of a rebellion plotted in Cornwall which would take with it many Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.

Chancellor George Osborne % VAT on pasties, sausage rolls and chicken bakers in a move the Treasury says is needed to balance out the tax system.

Bakers have said the move is unworkable, saying the current proposals to charge VAT on anything served above ambient room temperature could see customers charged a different price based on what time they buy the same product.

An industry organised protest outside Downing Street next week will see petitions from across the UK handed in, including hundreds signed by readers backing The Journal's Save Our Savouries campaign.

Greggs finance director Richard Hutton said the firm had so far seen a quarter of a million people sign up to the in-store petition, with a final push launched ahead of the hand-over next week.

The petition is part of the baking industry's response to the Government's six-week consultation on the VAT moves, which come into force in October.

However, Mr Hutton believes many MPs may have some objections to the tax on low-priced snacks. Greggs have been meeting with MPs over the last few weeks after writing to all of those with a branch store in their constituency.

Mr Hutton said: "We have had quite a good response to this. We have shown around MPs and they can see why it is not a hot takeaway food, it a product freshly cooked and then sold after being kept warm.

"We have set out to ministers a workable way around this, based on whether the product is one that is reheated or one that is kept warm, rather than the proposals which would change based on the environment they are kept in. …

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