[Celtic League] Pasty Tax Not Welcome in Kernow!

In 1497 Myghal Josef an Gof and Thomas Flamank marched to London with thousands of other Cornish
people in armed revolt over what were perceived as unfair tax rises that the King of England had
imposed on the Cornish to pay for his war with Scotland. The outcome of the protest for An Gof
and Flamank was the death penalty, but their Cornish rebellion had culminated in a pitched battle
on Blackheath in London that has been remembered for over 500 years.

This week's budget from the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has seen another

unfair tax being potentially imposed on the Cornish, which affects the very food that Cornwall

is famous for and a veritable symbol of Cornishness itself. Cornish people are incensed by the

Chancellor’s intention to impose a 20% VAT tax on pasties - Cornwall's national dish – in what

has already become known as the 'pasty tax'.

Last year the European Commission awarded the Cornish pasty the much coveted protected

geographical indication (PGI) status, which means thatCornish pasties cannot be called 'Cornish'

unless they have been made in Cornwall. The award was the culmination of a long term campaign

of which the Kernow branch of the League was part. Now with that particular campaign won, a

new campaign has been set up to protect the status of the pasty as a good of the people, rather

than of the rich. The Exchequer’s plans to increase VAT on hot take away food to 20% - which

is likely to increase the cost of the pasty by a fifth of its current cost - means that what

has been the staple diet of many ordinary Cornish people for generations could become more of

a luxury food item in the future.

A group has been set up on Facebook that has attracted thousands of members calling for

people to get behind the campaign calling on the Exchequer to dump the tax. The group is

calling on people to sign an e-petition to the Government, which already has almost two

thousand signatures. The Facebook group points out that as well as being a well-recognised

symbol of Cornwall, the pasty is "a key part of our manufacturing economy and thousands of

people in Cornwall are employed either directly or indirectly by the pasty industry."

Campaigners argue that the proposed tax will not even bring in revenue for the hundreds of firms

in Cornwall that sell pasties, but the proceeds willgo straight to the UK Government coffers

in an attempt to help pay for England's enormous budget deficit.

Even some Cornish Members of Parliament of Exchequer Osborne’s own Government oppose the tax.

Member of Parliament Andrew George MP told hiscolleagues that he will fight "them on the beaches"

to oppose the tax.Whether over 500 years later the Cornish will rise up in revolt against

England to protest against another unjust tax remains to be seen. But whatis for certain, like

An Gof, Flamank and hundreds of their compatriots, the Cornish won't go down without fighting

for this one either!

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance


Rhisiart Tal-e-bot,
General Secretary,
Celtic League
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912

M: 0044 (0)7787318666

*gensec@celticleague.net* <gensec@celticleague.net>
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Council Officer to respond to your query.

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of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human

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