Pasty tax is political hot potato
Published at 11:24, Wednesday, 28 March 2012
The Chancellor’s Budget, we knew in advance, was always going to be about the dough.
But pastry dough – or more precisely pasty dough – brought a surreal flavour to fiscal matters in the Commons, when George Osborne found himself having to defend his so-called pie tax.
Challenged to own up to when he last bought a hot pasty from Greggs, the Chancellor admitted he couldn’t remember calling in at the baker’s for pasty or pie.
Labour MP John Mann retorted: “That kind of sums it up, Chancellor.”
What he was summing up was the contrast between a tax cut for the wealthy and new tax on hot pies and sausage rolls.
The Chancellor – more likely a Fortnum & Mason than Greggs man – was accused of being out of touch with the lives of the less well-off, as the chain’s chief executive warned the proposed VAT ruling would hit struggling families and cause job losses throughout his company.
Already Greggs has seen millions wiped from its share value.
Explaining what qualified as taxable take-out, the Chancellor seemed to be striding into deeper, hotter water.
But the most memorable parliamentary moment came when he appeared to be insisting that a pasty, like revenge for new taxes, is best – and more to the point, most cheaply – served cold.
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk