Devon MP backs rotisserie chicken tax campaign
A Devon MP is backing a supermarket giant’s campaign to scrap VAT on rotisserie chickens.
Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, joined the British Poultry Council and Morrisons to deliver a petition of over 50,000 signatures to the Treasury ahead of next week’s Budget.
The Don’t Tax Our Roast campaign, led by Morrisons, argues that the tax on rotisserie chicken is having a negative impact on consumers, food producers and farmers.
In last year’s Budget, the Chancellor announced that VAT would be introduced on rotisserie chicken from the start of October 2012.
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In September last year, Morrisons and the British Poultry Council launched the Don’t Tax Our Roast campaign in protest at the tax.
The campaigners point out that prior to the introduction of VAT, around 40 million rotisserie chickens were sold a year – around 770,000 a week.
The industry states that the price increase has led to a fall in sales of approximately 18 per cent, with the Treasury raising approximately £13.35m in VAT since the tax was introduced.
Mr Parish, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Pigs & Poultry, said: “The British poultry industry is doing great work across the country and it is critical that the Government supports British farmers, producers and customers.
“This tax has put further pressure on customers who are already struggling to pay for their weekly shop and further pressure on one of the UK’s most impressive food manufacturing industries.”
Guy Mason, head of corporate affairs for Morrisons, said: “The fact that over 50,000 people felt compelled to sign our petition shows the strength of feeling among our customers about this unfair tax on a staple British meal. We are urging the Government to take notice of the British public’s opposition to this move.”
Caroline Leroux, head of external relations at the British Poultry Council, added: “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.
“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 per cent since the VAT was introduced.”