IN the North West we like our baked goods.
In Bromborough we have the UK headquarters of CSM, the country’s largest manufacturer of bakery ingredients, which produces cookies and doughnuts sold in ASDA and Tesco stores nationwide.
In 1912 Fred and Lylian Sayer started selling baked goods from a basement kitchen in Prescot Road, Old Swan.
Fast forward 100 years and Sayer’s now has 158 shops across the region, where you can buy pasties, pies, sausage rolls and cakes.
Personally, as an occasional treat, I enjoy a cheese and onion pasty from a local butchers, for example Griffiths or Pearsons in New Ferry.
But you might know that independent bakers such as Griffiths’s and regional chains such as Sayers are being clobbered by an announcement made by the Chancellor in his budget speech the other week.
George Osborne is slapping VAT on hot pasties and pies, which will add an extra 30p on to a £1.49 pasty, and an extra 18p on a 90p sausage roll.
After the announcement, shares in Greggs the Bakers plummeted by £30m in price. The worry is that small, independent bakeries just won’t be able to cope and will go to the wall.
Last week during a Select Committee hearing, the Chancellor admitted that he couldn’t remember the last time he visited Greggs. Bizarrely caviar still won’t attract the 20% tax.
The Chancellor’s constituency is Tatton, not so far from us in Wirral, so I wonder if he has spoken to many local families about the extra costs his budget piles on – at a time when many people’s wages are not increasing?
Whilst giving a tax cut to his millionaire friends, Cheshire’s George Osborne is paying for it by taxing pensioners and ordinary Wirral families. No wonder he has stopped saying “we are all in this together”.