AS THE government move to impose a VAT on hot foods such as pies and the world famous Forfar bridie, politicians and locals alike have expressed their disgust.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the move to add the extra 20 per cent to hot pies and pasties was closing a loophole from 20 years ago when VAT was first added to takeaway foods.
He said that this was simply a way of making sure that the VAT rules are fairly applied across the board of all hot takeaway foods.
Angus MP, Mike Weir, has called for a reversal of these plans as it will hit independent bakers selling hot snacks including the Forfar bridie.
Mr Weir said: “The Treasury must reverse its half-baked pasty tax which will hit independent bakers selling snacks including the famous Forfar bridie.
“Until now VAT was chargeable on pasties that were heated for consumption, but the new rule means bridies, pies and pasties that have not yet cooled from the oven will also be subject to full rate VAT.
“This tax has been sprung on the industry without any consultation, and without any thought about how it will impact on businesses.
“Nation-wide chain Greggs had £30million wiped off its market capitalisation last week following the announcement – and the decision will impact on small businesses and high-streets throughout Angus.
“While the LibDems and Tories in the Treasury have prioritised a tax cut for millionaires, this raid on hot foods will hit hard-working households and small businesses.
“Many such businesses are already having a tough time and this is yet another whammy from an out of touch UK Chancellor.”
He added: “The Treasury must drop this daft policy.”
Isobel Ross, Forfar Community Council chairwoman, also expressed her dismay over the plans. She said: “I think it is absolutely ludicrous, it will cause mega problems for small businesses.
“I’ve worked in the food industry for a long time and I know that this will cause problems for many people.
“In this economic climate people are trying to save so adding this extra few pence is absolute nonsense.”
Locals are also protesting the tax, Ewan Douglas, said: “Not everyone who buys pies eat irresponsibly and are overweight.
“The government seem hell bent on taxing the public’s small, if not guilty pleasures. What next? Chocolate tax? Doner tax? Ant and Dec tax?”