Campaigners against a tax on rotisserie chicken delivered a petition of over 50,000 signatures to The Treasury this week.

Chancellor George Osborne added VAT to rotisserie chicken in last year’s Budget, with the measures taking effect from October 2012. In response, Morrisons and the British Poultry Council (BPC) launched the ‘Don’t Tax Our Roast’ campaign.

“The poultry industry has felt the acute effects of the tax, although it is consumers who are really feeling the pinch in difficult economic times,” said the BPC’s Caroline Leroux. “This added VAT on rotisserie chicken hasn’t provided a huge benefit to the Treasury but the effects have been felt nationwide as sales have plummeted by approximately 18% since the VAT was introduced.”

“This campaign received thousands of signatures in just a few weeks. Delivering this petition sends a clear message to the chancellor that consumers are backing British producers and want to see him do the same,” said Roger Williams, Lib Dem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire.

The measure is a hangover from the ‘pasty tax’ on hot foods. Campaigners say it is unfair because most consumers eat rotisserie chicken cold at home. They also argue the government should not be making relatively healthy food more expensive to buy.

“It is a great shame that the chancellor decided to penalise the industry by introducing a tax on a healthy staple food that forms an essential part of the British diet,” said Labour MP Nic Dakin.