Saturday 7 December 2019

Tories backtrack on 'pasty tax' following criticism of Cameron

Fiona Shaikh

THE British government is to modify VAT on hot takeaway food after months of criticism that its planned "pasty tax" showed it was out of touch with ordinary people.

A Treasury spokeswoman said VAT would not be applied to hot takeaway food that is cooling down after cooking -- for example, the popular Cornish pasties, which shops rarely sell straight from the oven.

The pasty tax, which was announced in the March budget, prompted accusations that Chancellor George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron, who were both educated at Eton and come from wealthy backgrounds, were unable to empathise with ordinary Britons.

That criticism forced ministers, including Mr Cameron, to claim that they enjoyed eating Cornish pasties -- a savoury pastry that is usually filled with meat and vegetables and is often eaten lukewarm.

The decision will have implications for bakers such as Greggs, Britain's largest food-on-the-go retailer.


The Treasury spokeswoman also said that the government would cut a tax on static caravans, which are used by many Britons seeking a low-cost holiday, to 5pc from what had been a proposed 20pc.

The Conservatives lost hundreds of seats in local elections earlier this month and recent opinion polls show their popularity slipping.

Irish Independent

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