Scottish Bakers, which represents and promotes the interests of bakers across Scotland, has today announced that it will launch a campaign to fight Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement in the recent budget that 20% VAT will be applied to bakery products sold over ambient temperature from October 2012.
If this change goes through, it means that the price of all baked goods sold warm or hot in bakeries up and down the country could rise from October and with an already tight squeeze on purse-strings, stretching the household budget to include a lunch time sausage roll or Scotch pie will be even harder and this will have a huge impact on sales in all of our high street bakeries.
Scottish Bakers is concerned that there is not consistency in the charging of VAT as some bakers already charge VAT whereas others do not and the association fears that the proposed legislation will add to the current confusion rather than provide a “level playing field”, which is understood to be the intention of the legislation.
In order to raise awareness of the concerns held by bakers, Scottish Bakers has requested meetings with Scottish and UK Ministers with the intention of requesting a “level playing field” that leads to the removal of VAT from all freshly baked bakery products.
The Association has also launched a “poster and petition” campaign asking all of its members to get behind the fight. Each customer that signs the petition will be letting Government decision and policy makers know how strongly they feel about the proposed changes.
“We strongly feel that in this current economic climate to ask customers to potentially pay 20% more for their breakfast or lunch just isn’t sustainable and this will lead to a reduction in footfall for retail bakeries.” Said Scottish Bakers Chief Executive Alan Clarke who is spearheading the campaign.
”There are already huge pressures in the current economic climate that bakers in Scotland have had to deal with in recent years, including rising ingredients and distribution costs. This has led to a number of companies going into receivership and subsequently merging or closing.
Therefore, there is a real concern that this will lead to a reduction in the number of people employed in the bakery sector in Scotland and will also lead to further closures having yet another negative impact on the high streets of many Scottish towns.