Sunderland pork shops battling the Government over pasty tax

Elena Dickson Marketing Manager for Dicksons Pork Butchers with Graham Landells, manager of the Maritime Terrace shop, Sunderland, with their Protect Our Pastries campaign and petition.

Elena Dickson Marketing Manager for Dicksons Pork Butchers with Graham Landells, manager of the Maritime Terrace shop, Sunderland, with their Protect Our Pastries campaign and petition.

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PASTY-LOVERS are signing up to fight the Chancellor’s tax plan.

Dicksons Pork Butchers owner Michael Dickson has launched a petition against the bid to add VAT to some hot takeaway food, with support from customers at his eight Wearside shops.

“Originally some people thought the idea of this tax was funny,” said the businessman. “But it’s not funny in the slightest in my opinion.

“It’s going to be difficult to predict to see how it effects us, but I think we’ll have to manage but we’re in very challenging circumstances. “But we’re trying to do something about it.”

Mr Dickson feels the Government is not doing enough to help high streets across the country, and thinks measures like this are only going to make matters worse.

“How are people going to sustain a business?

“The Government are saying they want to breathe life into the high street, this is going to make things very difficult.

“It’s very disheartening for us but I think it could be worse for other family owned bakers.”

He added: “There’s nothing more damaging for a community than to see boarded up shops and it could be going that way.

“I don’t think it’s scaremongering, but if these family businesses were wildlife we’d have Sir David Bellamy chained to them trying to protect them.”

Mr Dickson believes the tax will discourage people from going to bakeries, particularly in poorer areas such as Sunderland.

He said: “People have less disposal income these days because of the recession, pies and pasties have proven more popular than other fast food, but that might change.

“It’s blue collar workers who’ve been affected the worst, which is shame for them and us.”

MP David Miliband has added his voice to opposition of the Government’s controversial ‘pasty tax’.

The SAFC non-executive vice chairman said: “The pasty tax is yet another example of this government not living in the real world.

“George Osborne thinks it is acceptable that there is no tax on caviar but it is fine to tax a pasty.

“The Conservative/Lib Dem budget is hitting people hard.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho