Bakers hail the end of pie taxes

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BAKERS in St Helens have told of their delight following a Government U-turn over controversial “pie tax” proposals.

Independent bakers John Burchall and Colin Greenall both hailed the policy climbdown as a victory for common sense.

Plans to levy VAT at 20 per cent on all hot food had been widely criticised as taxing lunchtime snacks.

But, under revised proposals, food left to cool naturally will now not be subject to VAT.

John Burchall, of Burchall’s Pies on Westfield Street, said: “I’m delighted that this unworkable piece of legislation has been changed back. I’m elated not only for myself but for everyone who works in the bakery trade.

“There’s no doubt the old plans would have affected our business. Let’s hope it’s all sorted now and that the current state of play is here to stay.”

Colin Greenall, who sells pies from his Duke Street shop, agreed: “I’m very pleased. It was a completely unworkable, silly plan and there’s no way they could have policed it.

“I’m just glad that common sense has prevailed and we can all get back to doing what we do best.”

The coalition Government signalled retreat on the “pie tax” - as well as a planned tax on static caravans - on Monday night (May 28), in a move which could cost the Treasury £70m.

Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie described Chancellor George Osborne’s budget and subsequent climbdown as “shambolic”.

He said: “I think they were forced to listen to the total bewilderment of the public who were completely astonished at these rather odd decisions.

“What a chaotic way to run a country. How on earth can you have a budget process that unravels in a day.”

when you’ve got this kind of shambolic business?”