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Pasty Tax Passed

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7:01am 19th April 2012

The pasty tax has taken another step forward.

The twenty percent hike has been voted through the Commons. That is despite a rebellion by Cornish MPs trying to block it.

It came after St Austell and Newquay MP Stephen Gilbert challenged the Prime Minister in parliament. He said, "The Prime Minister will be aware that there is no VAT chargeable on caviar yet the Government is proposing to put VAT on the Cornish pasty. Can he tell me why that’s fair?"

Mr Cameron replied that he understood why "feelings in Cornwall run high on this" but insistsed “what I think is unfair is that products sold in a fish and chip shop which are subject to VAT, those same products can be sold in supermarkets not subject to VAT."

During a vote on Wednesday evening the government's majority on the issue was cut to just 35 after Conservatives and Lib Dems from Cornwall united to try to block the plans.

South East Cornwall's Sheryll Murray warned, "Small bakeries we see in our town centres and villages are actually helping to keep those town centres and villages alive. This could be the thing that pushes them past the economic viability stage."

During the debate MPs were told that if the increase in VAT leads to a twenty percent drop in sales it could mean four hundred job losses in Cornwall, as well as £30m in lost profits.

Despite losing the vote Stephen Gilbert pledged that the battle against the plans would continue.

7:01am 19th April 2012

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