In the 2012 budget, George Osborne, the Chancellor, changed the VAT rules to allow hot baked goods, such as pasties, to incur VAT if served warmer than the ambient temperature.
The problem with this is not just the taxation of a staple diet of many of my fellow countrymen (yes, I am of Cornish stock), but the blurring of VAT. The thinking behind it is that it is unfair that fast food restaurants – such as chip shops and kebab shops incur VAT. The important note to make is that they are restaurants – a luxury expense, even if you don’t view a chip shop as a luxury. A bakery, of which make pasties, are not restaurants. They’re shops which operate on the same basis as supermarkets – selling food, without which life would not be possible.
This blurring of what is VATable and what is not VATable lays a precedence for the taxation of food. The Chancellor takes us down a very worrying road. First pasties, then what? Milk? Eggs? Jaffa cakes?!
Hands off my pasties, George.