Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Imagine taxing glazed doughnuts but not biscotti

Creating a £35 million hole in a carefully planned budget was easy. Finding another way to raise that much in taxes is not.

British Treasury Reverses Plan to Tax Baked Goods
Anti pasty-tax demonstration
Following a public uproar that became a symbol of the wealth gap in Britain, the Treasury reversed its plans early Tuesday to impose a 20 percent sales tax on certain baked goods, including the hot pastry-wrapped sandwiches known as pasties.
The reversal is a setback for the Conservative Party, which is overseeing a far-reaching austerity program that includes over £80 billion, or $125 billion, in spending cuts and tax increases intended to balance Britain’s budget by 2017.
George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, scrapped the plan for the tax, which was intended to raise revenue for the cash-strapped government by bringing the popular snacks in line, fiscally speaking, with other takeaway food that is served hot, like fish and chips…
The debate turned farcical when the Oxford-educated Mr. Osborne, under questioning by Parliament, had difficulty remembering the last time he had eaten a pasty…
Treasury Secretary David Gauke… added that keeping hot pasties exempt from sales tax would cost the Treasury £35 million a year. But someone is making money. Shares in Greggs, the bakery chain that is the largest seller of pasties in Britain, surged 8.1 percent Tuesday, its biggest gain in 15 years.

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At 7:21 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Tax relief limit on charity to be axed in fresh U-turn

"Chancellor George Osborne has dropped plans to limit tax relief on charitable giving announced in March's Budget following protests from charities.

"He has announced there will continue to be no limit on what an individual can donate to charity and offset against their tax liability…

"It is the latest in a series of U-turns on policies announced in the Budget, including the pasty and caravan taxes…

"A government spokesman said they had been clear that the uncertainty caused by the proposed cap on charitable reliefs created a risk to the charitable sector and in light of this they had decided to exempt charitable reliefs from the cap…"


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