Group protest over rotisserie chicken tax

In a joint effort to change the hot chicken tax, the British Poultry Council (BPC), Morrisons and a cross-party group of MPs have delivered a whopping petition to the Treasury.

The petition had more than 50,000 signatures on it, all in favour of abolishing the tax on rotisserie chicken. The tax was brought about in last year’s Budget and resulted in Morrisons and the BPC launching a ‘Don’t Tax Our Roast’ campaign in protest.

According to the BPC, the petition has secured strong support between 10 September and 28 October last year and was delivered to the Treasury on Wednesday (13 March) – a week before the delivery of the Budget.

The petition expresses concern from the industry over how widely the tax on rotisserie chicken was felt among 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,” the BPC said.
Industry leaders have said the price increases have led to a fall in sales of rotisserie chicken of 18%, while the Treasury has pocketed around £13.35m in VAT since the tax was introduced. As a result, the BPC and Morrisons have both questioned the real benefit of the revenue, which is delivered at the expense of hard-pressed consumers and poultry producers across the UK.

Industry opinion

Speaking about the issue, Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Pigs & Poultry Neil Parish 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.”
Meanwhile, head of corporate affairs at Morrisons Guy Mason 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 BPC, 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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