So it turns out George Osborne does like Greggs after all.
The baker, whose mantra is to ‘bake little and often’ to keep its savouries hot, has had a lucky tax escape with Osborne’s u-turn. Indeed, you can’t buy the positive publicity Greggs has enjoyed since March.
“Try tucking into a rotisserie chicken while you’re walking down the street”
James Halliwell, reporter
But is the u-turn fair? Supermarkets selling rotisserie chickens from hot cabinets will still be hit by the hike. Try tucking into one of those walking down the street. Yet they will be classed as takeaway food while a more-often-than-not warm sausage roll won’t be.
Other questions still remain. Will the corner shop or forecourt, where a Ginsters sausage roll is heated with an in-store microwave, have to charge more? The West Cornwall Pasty company keeps eight million pasties a year hot using hot plates. It will have to rip them out and risk serving up lukewarm pasties if it wants to avoid the tax. Will it?
Lawyers at business law firm DWF expect years of legal challenges over legislation that was supposed to make everything clearer. But one thing is crystal. If George Osborne was unfamiliar with Greggs before the Budget, he’s sick of the sight of them now.