Justice Sec defends govt u-turns

The Justice Secretary has defended three major u-turns as ministers listening to taxpayers. Plans to hold inquests in secret have been scrapped, as have controversial plans to impose VAT on pasties. Tax on static caravans are to be reduced to 5%.

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MPs react to the pasty and caravan taxes u-turns

The Conservative backbencher Nadhim Zahawi has welcomed the change in VAT on static caravans:

But Labour MPs are mocking the Government's u-turn:

Pasty tax: 'There will be dancing in the streets of Cornwall'

Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell & Newquay, Stephen Gilbert, has welcomed reports of the Government u-turn on the 'pasty tax':

If confirmed, the Cornish people will have won and there will be dancing in the streets from Land’s End to the Tamar.

The strength of feeling from local people and the national baking industry has been clear since these proposals were announced. Plans to extend VAT to batch-baked goods would be unfair, unenforceable and cost jobs and investment across the country.

Since the budget, I have worked with the industry to find an alternative and it seems the Government has listened and agreed. I proposed an alternative, workable solution that would creates a level playing field with other sorts of hot food and won’t endanger jobs, investment or growth.

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Cornish MP welcomes pasty tax u-turn

Cornish MP George Eustice welcomed the move on the pasty tax:

This is great news for the Cornish pasty industry and resolves all of the problems that had been raised by the industry.

The Government has run a genuine consultation and now an improved proposal as a result.

The Treasury should be given credit for the way they have approached the issue.

– George Eustice, MP

Treasury: Pasty tax 'improved after consultation'

A spokesman for the Treasury said:

The Budget announced a consultation on a change to VAT on hot takeaway food, designed to remove inconsistency and ambiguity in the system and level the playing field across the takeaway food market.

After extensive engagement we have improved the policy, addressing practical concerns, ensuring that the new regime could be as simple as possible to apply.

We have addressed these in a way that allows us to remove the inconsistent VAT treatment, while not imposing any additional requirement on businesses to test the temperature of their products.

Expected Government u-turn on 'pasty tax'

The Government will reverse its plans to impose a VAT on Cornish pasties. Credit: REUTERS/Simon Newman

The Government is planning to reverse its plans to charge VAT on Cornish pasties: the controversial levy that became known as the 'pasty-tax'.

The government is said to have altered the definition of what is a "hot" pasty to allow the reversal. Under the new definition food such as sausage rolls or pasties sold on shelves, (i.e. cooling down, instead of being kept hot) will not be liable for VAT.

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Leeds shop workers 'don't remember David Cameron buying pasty'

Leeds station's last pasty shop, the Cornish Bakehouse closed earlier this month.

But shop workers said the station also once had a branch of the West Cornwall Pasty Co. But this shut in 2007.

One woman who works in a station store said: "David **Cameron? Buying a pasty on this station? I don't remember that.

Workers at another branch of the West Cornwall Pasty Co. - about 400 metres away in Leeds city centre - said they had not seen David Cameron either.

Staff at the branch of Greggs next door also said they had no recollection of ever seeing the Prime Minister in the store.

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