The Cornish Pasty
(see also Pasty Tax - Page 2)
The Cornish Pasty web site is more than a little sad to introduce this web page - the UK government want to add a 20% tax to the price of a pasty because they contend that it is a "hot" food. This stems from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's March 2012 Budget Statement (details below). Traditionally, the tin miner took his pasty from home very early in the morning to eat at lunch time (or for croust) by which time it would not be "hot". Therefore, the argument can be made that, traditionally, it was not a hot food. VAT (Value Added Tax, currently 20%) is applicable to hot food but not cold. Pasties, like bread and sausage rolls, have been exempted from the tax because they are freshly baked and are cooling down when sold.
There have been many items in newspapers and other media about the new "pasty tax". It has even been asked in Parliament if there will be a new branch of the HMRC Inspectors (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs), the "Pasty Police", waiting outside pasty shops with their thermometers to test your pasty before you eat it !
There is an official online HM Government e-petition entitled No to VAT on The Cornish Pasty, closing on 23 March 2013 - Please sign it!
Before we forget, Devon (Hansard Column 427) and northern e.g. Wigan/Bolton and York, pasties plus the Scottish bridie, have all been talked of in the House of Commons, particularly here.
The HMRC web page: HM Revenue & Customs VAT Notice about Catering and take-away food: (no doubt will change at a later date) carries the present information.
This material is reproduced in accordance with the terms of © Crown Copyright .....
4.3 What does ‘hot’ mean?
Hot in this context means above the surrounding air temperature.
Examples of standard-rated sales when sold hot are:
4.4 What about freshly cooked products?
If you sell freshly cooked products for consumption while they are still hot they are standard-rated, see paragraph 4.5.
Some of these products are, however, not sold with such an intention. They may only be hot/warm as they are in the process of cooling down. Examples include pies, pasties, sausage rolls and similar savoury products, cooked chickens or joints of meat, bread products and croissants. The liability will depend, therefore, on how you prepare and sell them.
|If they are sold||they|
|- specifically for consumption whilst still hot (as a result of being freshly prepared, baked, cooked, reheated or kept warm||- will be
See also paragraph 4.5
|- warm simply because they happen to be freshly baked, are in the process of cooling down and are not intended to be eaten while hot; or cold or chilled at the time of purchase||- can be zero-rated|
The Parliamentary material cited in this article is used under the terms of © Parliamentary Copyright
21 March 2012, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made his Budget Statement to the House of Commons .....
Hansard, Column 801 "Financial Statement" records .....
We will also address some of the loopholes and anomalies in our VAT system.
For example, at present soft drinks and sports drinks are charged VAT, but
sports nutrition drinks are not. Hot takeaway food on the high streets has
been charged VAT for more than 20 years, but som e new hot takeaway products
in supermarkets are not. Some companies are using the VAT rules that exempt
the rental of land to avoid the tax that their competitors are paying. We
are publishing our plans today to remove loopholes and anomalies, but we
will keep the broad exemptions on food, children’s clothes, printed books
26 March 2012 - Early day motion 2917 proposed .....
"That this House notes with concern the Chancellor's proposals to add VAT to hot takeaway food from bakeries and supermarkets, including the humble Cornish pasty; further notes that thousands of people are employed in thepasty industry in Cornwall, which is worth millions of pounds to the Cornish economy; believes that adding 20 per cent VAT to the price of a pasty will undermine the industry and lead to a drop in sales and local job losses; and calls on the Government to exempt those foods which have significantly advanced Protected Geographical Indication status in Europe, like Cornwall's favourite food, from this proposal." Amendment 2917A1 - VAT ON THE CORNISH PASTY after `notes', insert `although originally invented in Devon,'.
26 March 2012 - Finance Bill presented to Parliament - First reading ..... with the first mention in Parliament of pasty tax? Column 1193
Sarah Newton (Truro and Falmouth) (Con): I
am grateful for my hon. Friend’s cue. Creative industries are vital to
Cornwall, but so is creating high-quality food products. There is growing
concern throughout Cornwall about the possible unintended consequences of
the Budget and about the undoubtedly real threat to the Cornish pasty of the
May I seek my hon. Friend’s reassurance that the concerns of pasty makers in
my constituency are being listened to and that a solution can be found?
Mr Vaizey: I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention, which I know the Chief Secretary to the Treasury will respond to fully when he winds up. I congratulate her county on receiving the award for being Britain’s best tourist destination for the third year, and I congratulate her on the extraordinary energy with which she represents her constituency. She and I have had many meetings to discuss various issues in her constituency. [ Interruption. ] You are looking at the clock, Mr Deputy Speaker, so I shall wrap up; however, let me tell my hon. Friend that I hear what she says about the Cornish pasty issue, and I am assured that the Treasury is looking at it seriously.
3 April 2012 - Wikipedia had a page initiated called Pastygate!
Pastygate is the name given to a political scandal in the United Kingdom in March 2012. The government had said that it was going to place a 20 per cent VAT charge on hot pasties.
A Labour Member of Parliament (John Mann MP) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Conservative MP George Osborne, about when he last ate a Cornish pasty. Osborne answered that he had no idea when he had last eaten one. This answer has been used to show how out of touch with ordinary people the Conservative party had become. The Prime Minister David Cameron later said that he had recently eaten a Cornish pasty at Leeds railway station "and that it was very good". However, The Sun newspaper then reported that there was no place to buy Cornish pasties at Leeds railway station at the time David Cameron claimed to have eaten one there.
The issue, which at first appeared to be unimportant, was then taken up by several other newspapers and political commentators. They pointed out that the Conservatives seemed not to know that the pasty was a basic food eaten by many ordinary people in the country. The VAT rise on the pasty would affect both these customers and the pasty industry itself. These newspapers and commentators made fun of David Cameron's attempt to show himself as a regular pasty eater(i.e. as one of the people) and that George Osborne did not know what a pasty was.
In response to the ensuing row, a number of campaigns were begun in order to try and prevent the tax rise on the Cornish pasty. These ranged from The Sun's "Who VAT all the pies" campaign to an on-line petition set up by the Cornish Pasty Society entitled "Don't Tax My Pasty". The issue was also taken up on Facebook and Twitter.
16 April 2012 - Second Reading of Finance (No 4) Bill .....
18 April 2012 - Column 315 Prime Minister's Questions .....
Pastygate - Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastygate
Finance (No 4) Bill - Debating the Bill - there are four pages of Hansard that cover this section of the debate where pasties are mentioned many times. The pages can be reached by clicking the "Next Section" link at the bottom of each page, or go back by clicking "Previous" at the top of each page .....
There was a long discussion (9.30 - 11.00 am) in Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament, on Weds. 23rd May 2012, on the subject of Hot Takeaway Food (VAT), from which the pasty tax derives.
The official record, Hansard, covers 21 screens of text so it is clearly not possible to include all this discussion on this web page - please CLICK HERE to see it.
One of the government follies was to propose that all food sold above ambient temperature should be taxed so as to close VAT loopholes. This would mean that even frozen food would become liable to VAT during particularly cold winter weather!
Once again, you d'get nothing but the facts from The Cornish Pasty.