Subway fires up ‘toast tax’ campaign
11 June, 2012
Subway has started a campaign to end tax on sandwiches and toasted Subs—the latest stage in an ongoing saga over VAT on takeaway items.
As Peach Report has reported, the government’s recent U-turn on the so-called ‘pasty tax’ has delighted some retailers but not others, with many arguing that regulations as they stand are discriminatory. Subway has now waded into the debate with a Facebook-based ‘Toast the Tax’ campaign that calls for greater support for the sandwich industry in particular. Launching it, it said: “The sandwich shop industry, which employs tens of thousands of hard working people and supports thousands of small businesses, is now being placed under threat.”
It is calling for a level playing field on tax. “We are not asking for the government to reverse its recent U-turn on pasties but to remove the tax across the board, just as they have done in Europe. We are asking for sandwich shop owners to be treated fairly.”
Subway has now set up an e-petition to advance its campaign. It has so far gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
A piece in the Daily Mirror suggested that Subway franchise owners are also planning legal action against the government’s tax policies. Harvey Brown, a Subway owner in Exeter, said: “If the Chancellor thinks that scrapping the tax on pasties has put this issue to bed he’s very much mistaken. I haven’t spoken to anyone who can understand why toasted sandwiches should have VAT added but pasties shouldn’t… The government should treat sarnies the same as savouries.”
Brown also pointed out that Subway had supported the government on issues like its Responsibility Deal to promote healthier eating—but got nothing in return. “The Chancellor is, in effect, telling sandwich shop owners they’re second class citizens and that bakers are more important. I’ve nothing against bakers. Pasties shouldn’t be taxed, but neither should toasties.” A Subway spokesman added: “It just seems very unfair that piping hot pasties are exempt yet toasted sandwich fans have to pay a tax.”