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Britain drops plan to tax snacks

LONDON — Britain’s government has cooled on its plan to impose a sales tax on hot savory snacks, such as the humble Cornish pasty and sausage roll, after being criticized for unfairly attacking the poor.

The country’s Treasury confirmed Tuesday that it has amended plans announced in March’s annual budget to close a loophole, which allowed some heated takeout items to escape a 20 percent sales tax.

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Ministers repeatedly insisted the plan was necessary to raise new revenue, and to bring tax on snacks in line with the levies imposed on the nation’s other favorite takeout dish, fish and chips.

In a complicated — and potentially confusing — change to its original plan, the Treasury said a 20 percent sales tax would now be levied only on cooked pies and pasties, which are then kept hot deliberately.

It will not apply to baked goods that are sold after leaving the oven, but happen to still be warm.

Associated Press

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