Once again, The Sun newspaper has taken it upon themselves to grab a half-understood government proposal, stick a catchphrase upon their admittedly huge banner, and run screaming at The Man – all in the name of The People. Apparently, the “Pastie Tax” is another of those huge injustices inflicted upon the working man by the rich. Even Cheryl Cole, self-professed singer and generic boner material for the white van man, has spoken out against the hot food tax, proclaiming that “I grew up on pasties,” and “taxing them is unfair attack on the poor”. How sickenly condescending of her. Since when did pasties become an exclusive food of the poor? If anything, the Steaky “fuckin’” Bake is the base food of the benefit-dependent caste.
In truth, the hot food tax was proposed to close a loophole that allows supermarkets to sell take-away food on the pretence that it’s not supposed to be consumed immediately, therefore avoiding the 20% VAT usually imposed on burgers and kebabs. The knee-jerk reaction from supermarkets and tabloids have been the usual threat of this extra 20% being passed onto the “honest man”, therefore causing scores of chavs left starving in the gutters just in time for the Olympics.
The government need to close the bigger financial injustices first – benefit dwellers, fraudulent claims etc – before thinking about using the dubious VAT vehicle to squeeze more money out of the country, and remember that VAT is still 2.5% higher than it should be, greedy bastards. I’ve asked many accountants what Value-Added Tax actually is; the acronym is suspiciously ambiguous for one, let-alone the full name. There’s little value on a Value-Added Tax product if the consumer is paying more. It should be called Vague Acronym Tax and be honest about it.
The best description of VAT I’ve heard is “a tax on luxuries”. I’ll accept that on cars and fuel and fags and booze, but food? ANY food should be VAT-exempt because food is a necessity, as well as air, water, and heat. Everything else can be considered a luxury. But it’s like the TV licence; because it always has been, it will always be without need for justification.