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Bakers' association challenge 'pasty tax'

29 March 2012

In announcing plans to change the VAT rules on freshly baked, hot pies, pasties and other savouries, which would up by 20% the cost of some of the nation’s favourite and most affordable foods to families, the Chancellor, George Osborne, has angered craft bakers who fear for the resulting loss of sales and the effects on their businesses.

In response to the Chancellor’s announcement and in support of their members, The National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) is mounting a campaign to ensure that this proposal is dropped from ministerial plans before it can become law in October 2012.

Says Mike Holling, Chairman of NAMB, ``We have until 4 May to make the government see how this price increase will affect ordinary people and how unmanageable the implementation of the tax will be; concentrating as it does on the relative ‘hotness’ of the product in comparison to the ambient temperature in the baker’s shop!

``The Association believes the proposal is ill conceived and poorly thought through, making it open to mis-interpretation. It will be confusing for both bakery staff and consumers who will see it as an unfair tax.

``If we're to halt this unpalatable tax, which will affect the majority of craft bakers, it is essential we create a united front to deliver a clear, precise and comprehensive argument to the Treasury and in order to do this, and fully represent our members interests, the NAMB is preparing a serious and potentially legal challenge to the proposal.

``British Baker has joined forces with NAMB to create an on-line petition against the 20% tax proposal and we would urge all bakers to visit to sign the petition, which be will be delivered to the Treasury to that demonstrate the strength of feeling in the industry.

``Also on our website, bakers will find a petition that they can download and place in their shops, so that their customers too can register their opposition to the tax proposal. There are also window posters to download so that together we can get the message out to consumers who will feel the effect of this tax, in their pocket!

``The Association will be mailing members with further campaign plans. We hope you will support our actions to deliver a united and powerful message to the Treasury about the damage this tax could do to our businesses. It is vital we show our support for our customers by showing a strong opposition to this ministerial proposal.''

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