A Cornish MP is facing popular ridicule after he asked why there was an ‘ambient hot’ food tax on Pasties – but none on Caviar.
Steve Gilbert made the gaffe in Parliament as he tried to join in the general ribbing of Tory Chancellor George Osborne over his posh background.
Taking to his feet in the Commons the outspoken new MP asked Osborne: “Why is there no VAT on Caviar but there is on Pasties … it’s unfair.”
Unfortunately everyone else, not least the Newquay and St Austell MP’s working class constituents, is keenly aware Caviar is served cold.
The expensive and famous delicacy of pressed Sturgeons eggs is kept in a fridge, chilled for a further 15 minutes before eating, and then served on ice.
Voters have been quick to point out that Stephen’s would-be witticism missed the point that the ‘Pasty Tax’ centres on the warmth of take-away meals.
As Steve’s Tory counterpart and fellow pasty rebel Sherryl Murray has pointed out, the whole point of the ‘Pasty Tax’ is that it’s going to be so difficult to implement, as bureaucrats face arguing over which pasties are hot – and taxable – and which have gone all cold.
And one local joker’s even started a mock viral ad – advertising for sales of ‘Stephen Gilberts Hot Caviar’.
The virtual product, which boasts our local MPs grinning chops as its motif, contains the strap-line ‘Produced and packed in St Austell and Newquay for Export”.
Posting to our Facebook CCN page its anonymous creator wrote:
“Calling Stephen Gilbert… there is no VAT on Caviar because Caviar is usually sold and eaten cold.
“And you don’t have to have gone to Eton to know it. I went to Comp in Cornwall and even I know there is no such thing as Hot Caviar.
“Please copy/like/share/this viral advertising Steve Gilbert’s patent ‘Hot Caviar’ mercilessly.
“Because it was such a stupid question I’m now embarrassed to be from Newquay…”
We’ve been phoning Steve for three days on the trot now: he and his PAs are normally good as gold but for some reason we can’t get through: answer the phone guys!! Did Steve not realise Caviar is one of the most famously chilled foods on the planet? Cheers!