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Social media to drive the anti-pasty tax campaign

Social media to drive the anti-pasty tax campaign

Accountants for contractors will undoubtedly remember that George Osborne introduced what has become referred to as a “pasty tax” in the Budget, at least by their counterparts in the south west of England.

There continues to be an outcry in Cornwall after the Chancellor announced that VAT would be added to the price of Cornish pasties. Bishop Fleming, an accountancy firm based in the South West now want to kick-start a social-media campaign against the tax.

Greggs, the bakery chain that originally started up in the North East, has also jumped on the bandwagon saying it will fight the proposal. Greggs saw about £30 million wiped off its share price the day after the budget announcement and the company has requested a meeting with government ministers to talk about the implications of implementing VAT on its products.

Currently VAT is charged on pasties that have been specifically heated for consumption, but under the new rule, full rate VAT will be charged on pasties when they are still above ambient room temperature after baking.

As from the 1st of October, any pasty that is not below ambient temperature will attract VAT at 20% and according to Robert Bailey from Bishop Fleming in Truro, this is madness. Shops will need to implement a two-tier system for pricing.

A Twitter campaign against the tax is already underway at #pastytax and Bishop Fleming has vowed to use social media to fight the campaign until the consultation period ends on the 4th of May.

Back in 2010, Subway fought a legal battle to have toasted sandwiches zero-rated for VAT. The claim was rejected by the first tier tribunal, but Subway says it will appeal the decision.

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Image: Pasty01 by Gareth_Rogers

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