28 May, 2012


No comprende

Just heard on The World Tonight that the Government has supposedly "backed down" on the proposed pasty and caravan taxes. Apparently pasties and sausage rolls will not be subject to VAT "if they are not sold as hot food".

So how is that different from the original proposal and more to the point how does it work? When I pop into the breadshop and ask for a couple of Greggs dummies, will they be tax-free if
  1. They are already cold at the time of sale,
  2. I sign a declaration that I will not eat them until they are cold,
  3. I sign a declaration that I will not eat them until I am cold,
  4. I promise to eat them with my eyes closed,
  5. I promise not to eat them at all.
Answers on a postcard please.

As far as I can see, this is not a 'win' for Greggs at all! Let's see how the papers spin it...

It would probably be sufficient for the Righteous if you simply promised not to enjoy them

Greggs' sausage rolls and suchlike savouries are delivered assembled but raw from the factory. They go into to the oven for finishing immediately before being put on sale, at which time they are incidentally hot as a byproduct of the preparation process. So as I understand it, they are exempt from tax.

However, they are usually on offer in a display cabinet under hot lights. Tricky. Presumably a chappie from HMRC should now turn up equipped with a thermometer to determine whether the lights are keeping the food hot (taxable) or merely providing illumination (non-taxable).

I remember all this nonsense with McDonalds and their ilk. If you intended to take your burger and fries off the premises, it was classed as a food sale and VAT-free. If you wanted to sit down at a table, it was classed as a restaurant meal and attracted VAT. In the latter case the meal was provided on a tray and staff were employed to harass freeloaders who were sitting down and eating out of a take-away paper bag.

All good fun.

Is halal meat okay?

I do worry as our 'guests' are very keen we all eat what they want but surely religion is not VAT related. Hot or cold religion surely is zero rated.

Or is it Our Vater which is in Heaven?

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