Pasty summit is called

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A ‘pasty summit’ to discuss Government plans to impose VAT on sales of hot takeaway pasties has been organised.

John Endacott

The summit on April 11 in Truro, to be attended by representatives from Cornwall’s pasty industry, has been organised by tax experts from Francis Clark with Winter Rule, which has branded the proposed reforms ‘unworkable’.

It will also be attended by St Austell and Newquay Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert, who is pressing for a meeting with Chancellor George Osborne to discuss the so-called ‘pasty tax’.

Truro-based Francis Clark partner and seasoned tax lobbyist John Endacott has also been asked to submit evidence to the Treasury Select Committee about the current rules on VAT and takeaway food as part of the debate.

Endacott, who is also in discussions with a number of key tourism and food and drink groups in Cornwall, said: “This is a big issue for our clients but it’s not as straightforward as some might suggest.

“The existing VAT rules are inconsistent in how they are applied and the Chancellor’s proposed changes are not prompted by the sale of pasties but by some large fast food outlets looking to push the boundaries on VAT. But Cornwall has been caught in the cross-fire.

“I think it’s unlikely the Chancellor will back down on the principle but what we can do is work together to make sure that our response is co-ordinated and any changes are reasonable and don’t damage our economy in the south west.”

Francis Clark has set up a dedicated email address for anyone interested in helping to lobby about the proposed VAT changes, or who has evidence they would like to put forward about the potential impact: pastytax@francisclark.co.uk