Bridport: West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin feels the heat against 'pasty' tax (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Bridport: West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin feels the heat against 'pasty' tax
Pasty shop owner Peter Toms got to the meat of the matter when he took local MP Oliver Letwin to task over his government’s plans to slap VAT on the hot pastry snacks.
The West Dorset MP had agreed to accept a petition against the so-called ‘pasty tax’ raised by Mr Toms at the Kernow Pantry in Bridport.
Well over 500 people signed the petition, calling for the government to think again about the tax, which would put hot pasties in the same bracket as fish and chips and other takeaway meals.
Pasties sold cold would not attract the VAT, and Mr Toms said he had no idea who would police shops like his as to whether each pasty was hot or at ‘ambient room temperature’ when the customer bought it .
Mr Toms asked the MP why the government was hitting the low paid and risking jobs in small businesses like his, explaining that the change would mean he would have to charge an extra 50p on each pasty.
He told Mr Letwin that his customers were already warning him that they would not be able to afford the price increases, which could lead to his business closing and four people losing their jobs.
Mr Letwin made a spirited defence of the government’s position, pointing out that the new rules would simply bring pasties into line with other similar foods.
And, despite admitting to not being ‘a massive pasty fan’, he bought one of Mr Toms’ finest to take away – opting for a cold one.