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News Archive > General > Bakery in Pasty Tax fight

Bakery in Pasty Tax fight

By Warren Wilkins 28th March 2012

A NEWQUAY bakery shop has launched a campaign after the Government proposed to introduce a ‘Pasty Tax’ which could see the price of Cornwall’s national dish rise by 20%.

Niles Bakery in Bank Street has started a petition following fears that jobs will be under threat if the price of the iconic dish rises by one fifth – adding 50 pence to a £2.50 pasty.

The furore follows Chancellor George Osborne announcing during the Budget that all hot takeaway food sold “above ambient temperature” should carry VAT. It is currently not charged on most food and drink, such as baked goods, which are put on display warm and subsequently cool down, but is payable on takeaway food sold to be eaten hot.

Carol Nile from Niles Bakery said: “It really is putting a tax on jobs. The tax will put small bakeries and shops in crisis. It is outrageous.

“It will have an effect on all those businesses involved in the production of a pasty, including bakeries, farmers and vegetable growers.

“We have had to take an awful lot already with price rises in heat, meat, wheat, council tax and the minimum wage increase, which will be coming in.

“The pasty is a vital part of the Cornish lifestyle. People rely on a pasty. We’re quite different from the rest of the country. This has upset an awful lot of people. Hopefully  our petition to the Chancellor will make a difference.”

Newquay MP Stephen Gilbert raised concerns about the ‘Pasty Tax’ in the House of Commons debate on the budget on Thursday. He has also signed the e-Petition on the Downing Street website calling for the Government to look again at the issue.

Mr Gilbert  said: “There is some ambiguity about whether the introduction of 20% in VAT on hot food will include pasties that are served from bakeries.

“The minister will no doubt be aware that the pasty is not only a staple, hearty meal but, in effect, employs thousands of people and brings millions of pounds into the Cornish economy. Will he give some clarity on whether we can avoid a tax on pasties?

“The pasty is integral to the Cornish way of life and generates huge numbers of jobs and income in the Cornish economy.  I will be doing all I can to ask the government to think again about this.”

Thousands of people have joined a Facebook campaign urging the government to rethink the plans and MPs have told the House of Commons the move would undermine a sector worth millions to the county.

Cornwall councillor Alex Folkes, who set up the ‘Say No To The Pasty Tax’ group on Facebook, said: “Plans by the government to introduce VAT on hot takeaway food from bakeries and supermarkets will actually mean a ‘Pasty Tax’ which will cost Cornwall jobs.

“Cornwall is rightly proud of the pasty. But adding 20% VAT to the price will inevitably see a drop in sales with no extra money going to the baker.”

Meanwhile concerns have been raised the Government’s plan to introduce a minimum pricing for alcohol will damage the local cider industry.

But Rob Andrew, the joint project manager for Newquay Safe, believes pricing alcohol by strength will help clean up the resort’s night-life, although it would “not be the silver bullet”.

By Warren Wilkins 28th March 2012

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