You want political hot potatoes? I’ve got political hot potatoes. Well, I can supply them no problem, but I’m afraid they’ll now cost an extra 20% in VAT courtesy of the completely cretinous highly-revered Chancellor of the Exchequer’s latest budget. Unless, that is, you don’t mind political hot potatoes which have cooled down from the oven somewhat, thereby becoming political lukewarm potatoes. Which are tax exempt.
Confused??? So are you.
Let me explain.
HOW TO MAKE A BOLOGNAISE
One sausage roll or Cornish pastie
One smug, self-satisfied, sneering millionaire toff with a trust fund
The most important job in Government
A couple of freeze-dried brain cells
1. Prepare self-satisfied, sneering millionaire toff with a trust fund by marinading in Magdalen College, Oxford for years
2. Insert into 11 Downing Street
3. Sprinkle with some fiscal ideas and half-bake
4. Discard any residue of common sense
5. Present bolognaise on a sterling silver platter to media for grilling, and electorate for roasting.
And the result is? Well, it leaves quite a nasty, if not bitter, taste in your mouth, to be honest.
For those of you not up to date with the latest British political news, here’s a summary:-
George Osborne, the well-known twat Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, presented his Budget to the House of Commons the other day. This is always a bit of a toughie at the best of times, but currently we’re going through the worst of times (hadn’t realized Charles Dickens had written A Tale of Two Cities about the kind of London the Tories inhabit, and the one in which the rest of us reside), and George had to come up with something that delivered for his coterie of millionaire friends, whilst clobbering the hell out of the rest of us to pay for it. And so he lowered the top rate of income tax from 50p in the £ to 45p in the £ (and subsequently lamented to the press that, sadly, despite owning a £4m house in the best part of London, which he lets out, and having a stake in the upmarket family decorating firm, Osborne & Little – not to mention that trust fund – he isn’t wealthy enough to pay the top rate himself. Which, of course, we somehow mystically knew).
But in addition to this, he also announced that in future VAT would be charged on previously exempt hot takeaway food. (In an instant, thirty million quid was wiped off Gregg’s, the country’s biggest supplier of heart attacks, er, sausage rolls). However, it’s not quite as simple as that…
…for hot snacks – that is, those that are warmer than the ambient air temperature – will be liable for the tax, whilst cooler fare, Mr Osborne states – those of a temperature equal to that of the air temperature or lower – will not be liable. Thus, if you hang around for a while after the new batch of tasty goodies has come out of the oven, and wait for them to cool before purchasing, you won’t have to hand over the extra dosh. However, it’s not quite as simple as that…
…for in summer the ambient air temperature is warmer than in winter, meaning a lukewarm snack in the summer months will not be liable for the 20% levy – as a pastie which has cooled from the oven will be in the vicinity of the temperature on a warm day – whilst in the winter, a warm pastie will still be hotter than the surrounding cold air, and thus can be considered ‘hot’, in the sense that it is warmer than the ambient temperature and, accordingly, hotter than a lukewarm summer pastie.
You can just imagine the glee of the ever-diminishing number of hard-pressed Revenue and Customs officers (though to be fair, they’ve recently been alleviated from going through the accounts of the top echelon of the country’s political and financial elite, since they naturally don’t pay tax) as they are issued with various thermometers to measure both the ambient air temperature in assorted takeaway establishments, together with the insides of a yummy Sausage and Bean Melt, in order to ascertain whether or not VAT is liable for Tom, at the back of the queue, as well as Dick, at the front of the queue. (Harry quite sensibly opted to go to the pub to drown his sorrows at what Britain has become, having given up the Empire and instead devoted itself to lecturing condescendingly on the meaning of democracy to myriad countries the world over, the inhabitants of some of them having never even heard of a deep fried Mars Bar, let alone possessing the wit to imagine a young Right Honorable member of the notorious Oxford Dining Society, the Bullingdon Club, drinking to excess and smashing up top expensive restaurants and country houses willy nilly with his nauseatingly rich friends whilst wearing white tie and tails. Never mind guessing that his real name is Gideon. Tosser.)
(No, ‘Tosser’ isn’t his name, Gideon is. Wanker. No, ‘Wanker’…you know what, don’t bother).
Meanwhile, David Cameron hurridly announced a minimum price for alcohol to divert attention away from another controversial proclamation in Gideon’s Budget Bible concerning a ‘granny tax’ (not sure if you can tax her for six months at a time, and as for where to put the sticker…). Ensuring several lawsuits will ensue, since the measure (ha!) flies in the face of EU law, and is not very popular with the distilleries, for some reason.
Whilst at the same time, the Co-Treasurer of the Conservative Party was kebabed on camera in a sting by newspaper journalists selling Meals for Deals: donate £250,000, and dinner with the Prime Minister and his lovely wife in their private flat in Downing Street is yours.
What do you suppose you get for a dinner worth a quarter of a million quid? A sausage pastie and half a glass of White Stripe? Or is that expecting a little too much these days?