James Moore: Hot and tasty, and that's just the shares
Outlook Go Greggs! The baker's market value increased by the thick end of £30m after the Government backed down on plans to add a bit less than 30p (give or take) to some of its more popular products.
In such turbulent times it's nice to have some sort of normality. And Pastygate has provided some of the most entertaining silliness we've seen for some time, in a country which excels at it.
The hated "pasty tax" would have imposed VAT if the pastries were sold above a certain temperature (thus classifying them as takeaway food). Under the compromise VAT is only paid if the retailer cooks on demand. If you turn up at the right time and the pasty just happens to be hot, well, lucky old you.
Having bandied around threats to fight to the bitter end (aren't pasties supposed to be savoury?) Greggs was busy being conciliatory yesterday, as well it might.
The compromise is tailor-made for a company that can afford expensive lobbyists to help it get its way. Greggs bakes its pasties, its sausage rolls and the rest in the morning and doesn't store them under hot lights. You'll only get them warm if you turn up early. "This changes nothing operationally," a spokesman haughtily declared of the Government's U-turn.
But smaller firms without the services of influential lobbyists might still find it all rather tough to swallow. Cue attempts to evade the tax by, say, baking fresh batches every 15 minutes or so (when required). Or by posting baking times on the wall. Cue also an army of snoops – sorry, VAT inspectors – to cast eagle eyes over such practices to see if they violate Clause 3, Paragraph 12 of the new rules. Or something like that. Pastygate may be over, but the silliness is sure to continue.
- 1 Green village to be bulldozed and mined for lignite in Germany's quest for non-nuclear fuel
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Isis could become 'world’s first truly terrorist state' and bomb UK with nuclear and chemical weapons, Theresa May warns
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...