Pasty tax: Government urged again to rethink VAT plans
Published: 23rd May 2012 16:21:30
Proposals to introduce 20% VAT on hot savoury food - dubbed by its critics as the "pasty tax" - should be rethought, MPs have told the government.
MPs from across the three main parties criticised Chancellor George Osborne's proposals, announced in the Budget.
During a Westminster Hall debate, MPs said the plans were unenforceable and would have an adverse impact on jobs and businesses.
A Treasury minister said their concerns would be taken into account.
VAT is not charged on most food and drink or hot baked goods but is payable on takeaway food sold to be eaten hot.
However, hot savouries including pasties and pies are currently exempt.
Ministers said all food sold "above ambient temperature" should include VAT to close a loophole.
Liberal Democrat Stephen Gilbert told MPs during the debate that the plans were unenforceable and undeliverable.
The MP for St Austell and Newquay said: "They are likely to be heavily contested and they will do significant damage to the Cornish economy and high streets across our country."
He added that the move could place 2,000 jobs at risk and put 300 bakeries under the threat of closure nationally.
The Labour MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, John Mann, claimed the proposals put forward were "out of touch, anti-English" and the government should "get rid of this nonsense".
His party colleague, Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, queried whether the move would affect samosas sold by businesses in his Greater Manchester constituency.
South East Cornwall MP Tory Sheryll Murray added that she feared the term "ambient temperature" was "highly ambiguous".
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said it was a complicated matter.
He said current rules had been made complex and unfair by previous legal decisions and the government sought changes to create a level playing field.
He said: "I have, of course, been listening to the contributions to this debate and will ensure that they are taken into account in the Chancellor's decisions."
A consultation into the proposals closed earlier this month.
The 20% levy is due to be added from October.
At 13:03:38 in EnglandPlanning permission for a new Weymouth Football Club stadium has been rejected amid contamination fears.
At 13:03:25 in WalesA teenager who raped a woman in her 90s in the hall of her home has been jailed for 16 years at Newport Crown Court.
At 12:59:49 in EntertainmentThe head of India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting a bribe from a film producer.
At 12:59:46 in EnglandPlymouth University's chairman of governors is to be investigated about claims of sexual harassment of female staff.
At 12:58:46 in SportCornish Pirates chairman Ian Connell has appealed to his side's fans to do their part to help the club's finances.
At 12:54:39 in TechnologyThe theft of personal data belonging to about 4.5 million healthcare patients earlier this year was made possible because of the Heartbleed bug, according to a leading security expert.
At 12:53:11 in SportDanny Holla has admitted he will need time to build up his match fitness following his recent move to Brighton.
At 12:51:30 in SportFor a few days in July, Charlie I'Anson dared to dream.
At 12:50:54 in SportThe President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) is to face disciplinary investigations from Uefa over alleged racist comments.
At 12:49:11 in EnglandBusiness has grown faster in the East Midlands than any other English region outside London this year, according to a Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) report.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Pasty tax: Government urged again to rethink VAT plans [Online] (Updated 23rd May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430516/Pasty-tax-Government-urged-again-to-rethink-VAT-plans [Accessed 20th Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Two-thirds of the new jobs created since the financial crisis have been people becoming self-employed, according to official figures.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Numbers of harbour seals in Scotland have continued fall, according to a new report.
The head of India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting a bribe from a film producer.
Cornish Pirates chairman Ian Connell has appealed to his side's fans to do their part to help the club's finances.
Police investigating a series of letter bombs sent to addresses in Northern Ireland and England have arrested four people.