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Morrisons fights tax on rotisserie chicken

Morrisons has joined forces with the British Poultry council to launch a new campaign to urge the Government to abandon proposals to add VAT to the sale of whole rotisserie chickens will come into force on 1 October.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Morrisons fights tax on rotisserie chicken

The tax will be introduced through proposals unveiled in the March budget to add VAT to all food that is sold hot, classifying it as a take-away food. 

The British Poultry Council and the retailer said they believe the proposed tax is unfair as it will hit the many shoppers who use rotisserie chickens in their family meals. Morrisons said that more than four in every five of its customers purchase their rotisserie chicken to eat later adding other foods such as potatoes or vegetables to make a main meal, like the traditional Sunday Roast.

The retailer is encouraging its customers to sign a nationwide petition against the tax by text, online, or by using a freepost reply card obtained at rotisserie chicken counters at Morrisons stores.  Signage and customer information at Morrisons rotisserie chicken counters will also be used to raise awareness of the impact of the new tax, commonly associated with pasties, on rotisserie chickens.

The proposals were previously revised to allow hot food left on the shelf to cool down to have a 0% VAT rate.  While the revisions have addressed issues with some foods such as pasties and pies, Morrisons argues that it has not solved the problem for rotisserie chickens which, for food safety reasons, cannot be left to cool down for a prolonged period in the same way.

The British Poultry Council represents poultry suppliers across the UK who are backing this campaign, including Moy Park and Cargill who supply Morrisons.

Jamie Winter, fresh food director at Morrisons said: "It’s unfair to take a 'catch all' approach without accepting that there will almost always be important exceptions.  The simple fact is that our customers buy their whole rotisserie chicken as part of their weekly shop, not as a takeaway.  Our customers tell us that they simply cannot pay more in these difficult times.  That’s why we’re helping them to fight this unfair tax on the Great British Roast."

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