Apparently, George Osbourne is under attack for being "out of touch". Which is fair enough. But the grounds are, frankly, rather ridiculous - he can't remember the last time he bought something from Greggs.
Well, I too have a shocking confession to make: I can't remember the last time I bought something from Greggs, either.
I know, I know. I shall now hang my head in shame.
Honestly, is this what it's come to - parliamentary debates hinging around whether the Chancellor visits a particular chain, rather than the actual rights and wrongs of the situation? I would have thought the "pie tax" should be easy to either condemn or defend, without resorting to such idiocy.
By the way, I don't want to give the impression I'm defending George Osborne's policy here. His "pie tax", as written, is completely insane. Not only should VAT not be chargeable on food simply because it's heated (and especially food that has to be heated before it can be served), but the definition of 'hot food' cannot be done using ambient temperature. Because if it is, and I go to Greggs for lunch today they must reduce all their costs by 20%, or else they are charging me a tax that doesn't apply. (Osborne's defence, that the Treasury would pre-arrange with Greggs that VAT would be chargeable on an appropriate percentage of their goods, doesn't hold water for this reason - yes, the Treasury gets the right amount of money, but the customer isn't paying the correct amount.)
One final thing: I had been wondering what to do for lunch a week on Thursday, since I have enough to make sandwiches up to Wednesday. And now I know. Thanks, George!