A massive Facebook campaign is underway protesting George Osborne’s ‘Pasty Tax’.
Chancellor Osborne has slapped a 20 per-cent fine on all food sold “above ambient temperature” in this weeks budget.
There is already VAT on take-away foods like Fish and Chips.
But pasties always got away without VAT because they were baked in the bakery – then bought as they went cold.
Now Osborne wants to iron out what he calls ‘an anomaly”.
Local businesses, politicians, and last but not least pasty-lovers in Cornwall are all up in arms.
Apart from being tasty and affordable, the Cornish Pasty generates an estimated three per-cent of the Duchy’s overall income.
Businesses who belong to the Cornish Pasty Association produce 106 million of the traditional snacks each year.
Sales average around £65million.
Osborne’s Pasty Tax could hike prices and put local jobs at risk.
The Say No page was set up by Opposition Deputy Leader and CCN columnist Cllr Alex Folkes.
Alex told us: “The Pasty Tax is a bad idea. Adding 20% VAT to the price of a pasty will inevitably see a drop in sales.
“And there’ll be no extra money going to the baker – it’ll just go to the Government.
“Lower sales will mean job losses in areas which cannot afford them.”
He went on: “The Government has said that they are consulting on this proposal.
“I hope that they are genuinely going to listen to what people say.”
Support is swelling on the ‘Say No’ Facebook page.
76 year old Cornishman Rodney Lyon posted In his native tongue: “Nevra ny wrav vy godhevel toll war agan pasti – never will I suffer a tax on our pasty! Gwra prederi arta Mr Cameron – Think again Mr Cameron.
Local health worker Clive Rowley posted: “Here they go again, our glorious leaders, staying in their giled cages and dictating what happens to the staple foodstuffs of the masses.
“Why do we let them? Maybe we deserve all we get for falling for their “embriodered” versions of what will happen when we elect them. I for one don’t remember anyone saying to me “we’re going to take away all your tax incentives and make your pastie much more expensive”
”Vote the b*ggers out.”
Londoner Teraina Hird agreed saying: “I’m assuming this tax was thought up by the “Ministry of Silly Ideas”
And on the other side of the world Australian Geoff Drew, whose family still live in Cornwall, joked: “Seems to me that your country has caught a very bad case of the stupids.
“Think what this will do to the Pie Rates of Penzance!”
Mebbyn Kernow Cllr Dick Cole backed the ‘Say No’ Campaign.
Cllr Cole told CCN: “This is a ludicrous proposal from the coalition who don’t have a clue how important the pasty industry is to our community.
“You already pay VAT on Fish n Chips so it’s no even entirely clear what the Chancellor is talking about.”
Another MK Parish Cllr, Stephen Richardson, explained: “Up until now Pasties have got out of the VAT on fast food – Chinese, McDonalds, Fish and Chips.
“The loophole appears to have existed because it was argued that pasties were baked in store and then sold as they were going cold.
“Of course in Cornwall you bake your pasty and leave it to go cold, but someone will come and buy it before that, because they’re so popular.
“But the serious point is, whether it’s been a loophole up until now – if they close that loophole, it’s going to affect Cornwall more than any part of the UK.”
Pasty producers fought for years to get protected status for the pasty and succeeded last year.
The PGI ruling placed the local staple on a par with Champagne and Stilton and meant no-one making a pasty outside of Cornwall could call their product Cornish.
It’s one of only nineteen UK foods that enjoy protected status.
Do you want to pay another 40p to the Government every time you buy a £2 Pasty? No? Then let ‘em know!?
Thanks to the wonderful world wide web you can exercise your right to make your voice heard in the corridors of pasty power just by clicking on this piece.
Just click HERE to email David Roberts of the HMRC directly and ask him wtf is going on with the proposed tax on ‘ambient’ foods, or tell him why the Government should scrap the whole scheme.
Remember every phonecall and email helps: Cllr Folkes has been on the phone today (Thurs) to Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who’s apparently now suggesting the tax might just affect supermarkets – you never know what you can achieve with a bit of people power!
And to add your name to the 2,500 people from across the UK who have joined the ‘Say NO’ Facebook page just click this sentence.