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George Osborne has caused a storm by suggesting that Brits on a budget eat cold pasties to avoid his 20 per cent price hike on hot food.

The chancellor introduced the new tax in his Budget last week. But when asked whether it was fair to hike the price of hot food during a Treasury Committee hearing, he replied: "If it's cold when you buy it, it will not be VAT-able."

Labour MP John Mann then asked Osborne when he had last bought a pasty at Greggs. The chancellor replied: "I can't remember."

The Sun newspaper is launching a "Who VAT All the Pies" campaign in an attempt to bring about a U-turn on the tax, arguing that hot takeaway food from bakeries such as Greggs is a "staple of ordinary Brits".

Greggs chief Ken McMeikan told the tabloid: "He is insensitive to how hard life is without putting up the price of food."

And he added that freshly baked products sold by the likes of Greggs should not be treated as hot food.

"The point is that these are freshly-baked products that are cooling down, not remaining heated," McMeikan said. "They just don't get it."

Labour MP Mann told The Sun: "It just shows how out of touch Osborne is.

"It's obvious he has never been in Greggs so he'll have no idea on the impact this measure will have. Let them eat cold pasties — how heartless. It sounds just like Marie Antoinette."

Picture: Getty


Eat cold pasties to avoid tax hike, George Osborne says
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