VAT rise could force pasty shop to closeBy Victoria Smith
April 05, 2012
A Wokingham pasty shop has warned the Government’s proposed VAT rise on hot food could put it out of business.
Jolly Roger Cornish Pasty shop, which opened in Peach Street last year, has hit out at the plan to add a 20 per cent VAT surcharge on hot pasties sold by high street firms.
Owner Pete Rogers says adding 60p to his pasties could put the independent shop out of business, as its customers rely on good value for money.
He said: “I think it is ludicrous.
“We are struggling because there are not enough people coming into the town. When people are in town, they want good value for money.”
The tax on hot takeaway food was announced in Parliament last week and was immediately opposed by bakery chain Greggs, which has a branch in Broad Street.
Wokingham MP John Redwood waded into the row, saying that just because some Tories have not recently eaten a pasty, it does not mean they are out of touch with how others live.
He said the lifestyle of an MP involves eating a silver service dinner in the Commons dining rooms in the evenings.
He said: “It is modelled on country house life in the England of the 1930s, and similar to Oxbridge High table or officers’ mess dinners in the military.
“I daresay many Labour MPs also own detached houses which still sport dining rooms, or were originally built with such features.
“MPs who say some MPs are out of touch because of their lifestyles should remember their own.
“On a minimum of £65,000 a year no MP shares in personal experience the money worries of someone on £10,000 or £20,000 a year facing the current inflation rate.
“Living an MP’s life on an MP’s income does not, however, prevent a good MP understanding how others live and representing them well.”
Mr Redwood added he has not bought a pasty for a long time, but he does not think it “prevents me from representing pasty eaters”.
The Government has explained the VAT charge will bring the cost in line with VAT on takeaway burger bars, fried chicken restaurants and fish and chip shops.