BPC, Morrisons and Cross-party Group Deliver Petition to Treasury15 March 2013
UK - The British Poultry Council (BPC), Morrisons and a cross party group of MPs delivered a petition of over 50,000 signatures to the Treasury on Wednesday, 13 March.
The petition, which secured strong support between 10 September and 28 October 2012, has been delivered a week before the Budget to express concern at how widely this tax on rotisserie chicken was felt amongst consumers, food producers and farmers alike. The British Poultry Council and Morrisons are urging the Chancellor to remember British poultry producers and retailers in next week’s Budget Speech.
In last year’s Budget on 21 March 2012, the Chancellor announced that VAT would be introduced on rotisserie chicken from 1 October 2012. In September 2012, Morrisons and the British Poultry Council together launched the ‘Don’t Tax Our Roast’ campaign in protest of the tax.
The industry states that the price increase has led to a fall in sales of approximately 18 per cent with the Treasury pocketing approximately £13.35 million in VAT since the tax was introduced. Both BPC and Morrisons have questioned the real benefit of the revenue to the Treasury, delivered at the expense of hard-pressed consumers and poultry producers across the UK.
Reflecting the concerns, Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe said: "I visited a poultry processing facility in my constituency last week and I was very impressed with efficiency of the poultry production process. 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. I fully support the efforts of The British Poultry Council and Morrisons in their campaign for a fairer deal."
Roger Williams, farmer and Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: "The "Don’t Task Our Roast" campaign supports British farmers and producers like those in my constituency who are competing in a challenging market. This campaign received thousands of signatures in just a few weeks. Delivering this petition today sends a clear message to the Chancellor that consumers are backing British producers and want to see him do the same."
Neil Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton & Chair of 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 at 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 said: "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% since the VAT was introduced.
"It’s encouraging for British producers to see that so many people came forward to support the campaign in such a short period of time and we remind the Chancellor not to forget that support in next week’s Budget."
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