‘Pasty tax’ fight crumbles

Iain Wright MP enjoys a hot pie in Hartlepool
Iain Wright MP enjoys a hot pie in Hartlepool

EFFORTS to block a new tax on pasties and other snacks that Hartlepool MP Iain Wright says will hit the poorest hardest failed last night.

Politicians voted in favour of the so-called “pasty tax” that was revealed in the Budget.

It means people buying pasties and other hot food like sausage rolls and pies will have to pay 20 per cent VAT when buying their favourite snack in the bakery.

Mr Wright previously slammed the move as a “farce” as the tax only applies to food that is hot when it is bought by the customer.

And Hartlepool customers backed Greggs the baker’s Save Our Savouries campaign opposing the tax.

Over 1,300 people signed petitions in Hartlepool’s five shops in the first week.

Mr Wright said: “At times of economic difficulty this makes it even more difficult for both companies and customers and if prices rise there could be fewer customers in the shop.

“it’s a tax on households, especially those in Hartlepool.”

Hartlepool baker Richard Morrell, of family business Morrell & Sons in York Road, said: “We already pay tax on hot food, it’s all included in the price.”

“The whole ambient temperature thing is crazy.

“It makes things awfully complicated, it’s going to be a nightmare.”

Efforts by Coalition MPS to force a U-turn on the tax failed in the House of Commons last night, losing by 35 votes.

The Government said the tax was needed to close a loophole that existed.

Treasury Minister David Gauke said the current tax rules on hot food were “complex and unfair.”

He said because, while a fish and chip shop would have to charge VAT on a sausage roll, a bakery next door would be exempt for the same food.