By Daniel Hunter

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is backing an amendment to the Finance Bill that would scrap the Government's planned ‘pasty tax'.

The amendment is due to be debated in the House of Commons this evening (Wednesday).

BRC evidence, submitted to MPs ahead of the debate, shows the proposed tax would hit people who can least afford it hardest. It would cost jobs, further harm the high street and — rather than removing ‘anomalies' — create new ones.

The BRC is today publishing that evidence and its initial submission to the Treasury which sets out retailers' opposition to any extension of the scope of VAT.

In the letter British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson says: "Far from removing borderline anomalies, these proposals would result in greater uncertainty for retailers and added costs for consumers. This will deter investment in already struggling high streets, undermine the Government's Portas response and damage job creation."

The BRC's evidence shows that people will switch from hot pasties and sausage rolls to cheaper, zero rated, products. That means the Chancellor will be damaging retailers and suppliers but raising little extra tax revenue.

BRC Chief Stephen Robertson's letter goes on to say that the proposals: "Will merely create new anomalies that will, no doubt, be tested in the courts………….while the concept of ‘ambient temperature' may be well understood, a precise and legally reliable definition is impossible."

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