Hot chicken sales cool thanks to the taxman

March 12th, 2013 4 Comments By Thewlis

chickencooked5 277x300 Hot chicken sales cool thanks to the taxmanHad a rotisserie chicken recently? With all kinds of horsing around going on the beef/unidentifiable meat ready meal sector, you would think that chicken would be flying off the shelves. After all, isn’t that what most of us have been doing with curries for years?

However, ready-cooked chickens, tepid in a bag, are no longer a popular poultry purchase. The new VAT levy on cooked chickens (food served hot) has resulted in a big drop in consumption of said sweaty birds, and the British Poultry Council (BPC) are now tapping their claws and muttering that they clucking well told us so.

According to the BPC (whom, it seems, are not actually a representative local government collective comprised of actual chickens), before the VAT charge came in on 1 October 2012, poultry peddlers were getting 40 million rotisserie chickens (that’s 770,000 a week) into our collective trollies. In the 23 weeks since the VAT rise came into force, hot chicken sales have fallen by around 18%- leaving 3.2 million chickens drooping on the shelf.

The reason, the BPC surmise, is down to the price increase. Before VAT you could get a juicy warmish bird for £4.65, but now you would have to pay £5.55 for exactly the same chicken. It isn’t any hotter or anything.

It may be the extra 90p, which has generated £13.35m in lovely extra VAT for the taxman, causing the problem. Or it might also be that you can buy a whole raw chicken from Asda for £2. Either way, as far as the Government’s concerned, it’s a win, surely? £13m of extra tax is better than a smack in the belly with a wet fish after all.

Or is it? No-one has thought about the poor poultry farmers. No-one except Pete that is.

Peter Bradnock, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, clucked: “In a market where virtually all chickens sold are British, this is clearly having a detrimental effect on our farmers. We know that 70% of rotisserie customers actually consume their purchase cold, so this is unfairly penalising them. This ‘hot VAT’ isn’t raising huge sums for the Treasury but is having a major impact on hard-pressed families and British producers across the country.”

Jamie Winter, Fresh Food Director at Morrisons, who have also been getting in on the grumbling act, grumbled: “Not only does it cost shoppers more at a time when finances are already tight, there is clear evidence that the tax is also hurting British farmers. The Government should support farmers and consumers by reversing this decision once and for all.”

So there you have it. The Government can either turn its back on £26m+ a year in VAT, or turn its back on farmers and poor people who have no money but who can’t be arsed to cook a chicken. It’s a tough call.

Comments (4) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by chewbacca March 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Not halal.

    voted cold

  2. Posted by Aunt Bessie March 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    If you can apparently get a raw chicken for around £2 then why no mention by Jamie Winter, Fresh Food Director at Morrisons of the massive 100% profit that his industrial food supplying supermarket must be making to simply cook the chicken for you then. How about absorbing the extra cost that was introduced into your profit and helping out those poor old farmers, eh, eh , eh. Fucking tosspot.

  3. Posted by Fat Fucking Bob from Scotland March 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Dear Aunt Bessie,

    Please research the economies of scale.

    Regards,

    Fat Fucking Bob from Scotland.

  4. Posted by Pat Butcher March 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    £2 a chicken…….

    How long until we get a scandal about horsemeat in chickens or something as at £2 they are probably the ones that died and started to rot before the farmer found them…

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