Sheffield snack lovers’ joy over Chancellor’s humble pie

Pasties Vox Pop.....Carlos Flerin
Pasties Vox Pop.....Carlos Flerin
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PASTRY-LOVING people in Sheffield are celebrating after the Government scrapped plans to introduce its unpopular ‘pasty tax’.

Bakeries and food lovers welcomed the announcement that Chancellor George Osborne had abandoned proposals to charge the 20 per cent rate of VAT on hot baked snacks such as pasties and pies.

The decision means the tax will now be charged only on cooked goods that are kept hot, but not those that are still warm after coming from the oven.

High street chain Greggs led a campaign opposing the tax, but smaller businesses such as Lily’s Pork Store in Sheffield set up its own petition.

The family-run baker, which has been in Hillsborough for 50 years, celebrated by placing a banner in the window reading ‘Osborne eats humble pie’.

Yvonne Glover, manager at Lily’s, said: “The tax wasn’t just about pasties, we don’t serve them. Pies were our biggest worry.

“We cook them in an oven about eight feet from the shopfront. If it went ahead we’d have had to charge VAT on them. We sell bread cakes and we were worried it would affect them too.

“I sent off a petition 75 pages long with 40 names to each page. Public support was brilliant. I hoped common sense would prevail and it did.

“It just goes to show when we all come together we can be heard.”

Carlos Flerin, aged 26, of Walkley, said: “There is nothing better than a warm pasty but I wouldn’t have paid 20 per cent extra.

“It was a victory for people power. We’ve got to fight this pasty thing.

“I prefer Greggs because of the choice. You can’t just have one - I like three or four at a time.”

Annabel Cooke, 16, of Hillsbrough, Sheffield said: “I think the idea of charging more is a bit silly.

“I’d say I bought a hot pastry snack about once a week, so I’d have been annoyed about having to pay more. They are an easy option.”

Megan Marsden, 16, of Stannington, Sheffield said: “I’m glad the government backtracked. It’s easy to grab for lunch. I like sausage rolls.”