In the Spring budget Chancellor Osborne announced changes that would hit some industries hard. One was to affect the already fragile caravan industry of the UK. Another was to increase the price of a pasty.
Not sure what a pasty is? Well it is often consumed as a sack but may form part of a meal. It is similar to a pie in that it has a pastry outer. Inside is a range of meats and vegetables. The most common contents are carrots, potatoes and lamb. It can be made of short crust or flaky pastry and be served hot or cold. The last requirement is what is causing the problem.
The UK government claimed that increases on the VAT, value added tax, on pasties was necessary to bring the hot food in line with other products. Cornwall is proud of its Cornish Pasties and does a roaring trade especially through the tourist season. Traditional Cornish Pasties can be huge and cover the whole of a plate. Whilst they represent good value for money slapping a 20% VAT on to the price will not improve trade. In fact it is more liable to damage it.
The marchers are appropriately enough going to embark from Pudding Lane in London. The days events are to include "300 pasty manufacturers gathering on Whitehall this morning and six representatives from the baking industry, joined by Cornish MPs, presenting a petition of nearly 500,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street".
It is doubtful that today's events will make a scrap of difference to UK PM Cameron and Chancellor Osborne. While PM Cameron has said he has some sympathy for the Cornish Pasty industry he believes te changes simply bring that hot food in to line with other foods.
If you buy your pasty cold, and take it elsewhere to heat up, it remains VAT free. The changes instead of streamlining VAT have made more complications and given unscrupulous retailers more opportunity to over charge customers.
As many people have said we are bombarded with high VAT on items such as veterinarian bills which are already excessive yet we fail to protest. Perhaps it shows were our priorities lie? Only in the UK? Yes, probably.
Tags: VAT increases, pasty gate, downing street march, Chancellor Osborne, UK VAT charges, PM Cameron