Friday, March 13, 2009

Alan Johnson: clueless twat

(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)

Last night, Alan Johnson demonstrated once again that he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Asked on Question Time about the Scottish Medical Association's mad proposal to put more tax on chocolate, Johnson replied (46 minutes in):
"We did look, a few years ago, in my department in 2004 at whether we should put VAT on energy dense sweet bars. We decided against it because the people it would hit would be the poorest in the community because it's a straight tax, it's not something that's graded to income. And so we abandoned the idea and it's never come up since."

"So I think you can rest assured that a tax on chocolate won't be appearing in any manifesto at the next election."

What a relief. Except that there already is a tax on chocolate and VAT is already levied on "energy dense sweet bars". VAT has applied to all chocolate and confectionery for more than 20 years.

The Value Added Tax (Confectionery) Order 1988

Group 1 of Schedule 5 to the Value Added Tax Act 1983 shall be varied by:—

(a) substituting for excepted item no. 2—
"Confectionery, not including cakes or biscuits other than biscuits wholly or partly covered with chocolate or with some product similar in taste and appearance."; and

(b) adding at the end of Note (5)—
"and for the purposes of item 2 of the excepted items "confectionery" includes chocolates, sweets and biscuits; drained, glacé or crystallized fruits; and any item of sweetened prepared food which is normally eaten with the fingers" .

Sweets and chocolate are classed as luxury items and are subject to VAT. Cakes and biscuits are not unless they've got chocolate on them. Some readers might remember a dispute over Jaffa Cakes in the 1990s.

You would have thought someone might have told Johnson about this when he had his little meeting about it in 2004. Is it really too much to ask that the Health Secretary has some knowledge of the fucking tax system before he starts spouting off about it?

As for the chocolate tax, you can't really beat The Daily Mash's analysis:
IS IT TIME TO TAX THE SHIT OUT OF DOCTORS?

DOCTORS should be taxed every time they open their fat, smug, overpaid mouths, it was claimed last night.

People across Britain said the money could be reinvested in the NHS and used to pay for nice foreign doctors who just treat you instead of making you feel like Adolf Eichmann every time you fancy a Star Bar.


Go read the whole thing. It's a corker.

10 comments:

Elby the Beserk said...

Fittingly, many tout him as the next leader of the Labour Party. The basis for this seems to be that he once held down an ordinary job, so must know what he is doing.

As evinced by the article.

TheFatBigot said...

Not cakes and biscuits with chocolate on them, only biscuits. Hence the question whether a Jaffa cake is a cake or a biscuit - if a cake there's no VAT if a biscuit there is VAT.

They were found to be cakes. That explains why supermarkets put them on the biscuit shelves. Life really is very confusing.

Dick Puddlecote said...

The article should have read "Alan Johnson, Clueless Twat"

That's all.

The DoH have their hands shoved so far up the guy's arse that they are manipulating his larynx. I fucking hate that man.

Hope he dances his way into a shark tank one day.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Additionally, what he didn't say.

Tax will be applied to sugar instead.

lexander said...

Absolutely frightening that such a dolt should be in any position of power. Let's all remember come election.

The Filthy Smoker said...

Mr Bigot is right. I won't bother changing the post, but yes, the chocolate rule only applies to biscuits.

I love Jaffa Cakes, me. I'm glad McVities won the case.

wh00ps said...

It happened with Teacakes recently too I seem to remember...
BTW I saw that Mash page, just hours after I saw the BBC completely fail to offer any opposing viewpoint on Breakfast. Hilarious! Love the Mash. Hate the Beeb tho, nearly did a post about it myself but I just couldn't be arsed...

wv: porris. New Mayor of London?

dr cromarty said...

It's easy: a cake goes hard when left out overnight, a biscuit goes soft.

Jaffa cakes ARE cakes.

Henry Crun said...

FS, I blogged this self same thing on Thursday, but was less polite.

Dominic Allkins said...

Off topic, but here's my take on the changes to the smoking ban for those attending the G20.

Bastards.