At the time, HMRC said the ruling had no implications for the UK, whence it continued to charge VAT on things like fish & chips and burgers, sold over the counter, but kept as zero-rated foods "which are warm simply because they happen to be freshly baked, are in the process of cooling down and are not intended to be eaten while hot".
I might have the wrong end of the stick here but that won't stop me.
I don't know much about the ins and outs of these things but I take it that fish & chips are currently charged VAT at the regular (higher) rate or whatever it's called, as opposed being charged at the zero rate (i.e. effectively tax free.)
If so, I don't see what the problem is. Why doesn't Osborne just zero rate fish & chips etc, so still keeping them 'VATed', then introduce a new 'F&C' tax on them equal in all respects, except name, to the old VAT, but for administrative convenience have it collected as if it were VAT too? It's only words - as any bliar could tell, and he often did (e.g. "No new taxes" + "NI isn't a tax"). Any hypothecation necessitated by having to comply with shithead EU inspired legalities can be dealt with in the time-honoured fudged way, and as a last straw, by citing the precedent of the EU's own fcuking accounts.
Or does this derogation rachet mean he can't reduce VAT on fish & chips to the zero rate once it has been at the higher level?
It was Archtraitor Heath who introduced VAT, wasn't it? It's a pity that bastard is dead. He's escaped justice.
P.S. Right, I see there are three
rates of VAT, not two: Standard (20%), Reduced (5%), and Zero (0%). And presumably there's a similar structure in Germany, so the "lower" rate mentioned in "German authorities [...] had to charge the lower rate of VAT on all hot take-out food, instead of the higher rate
" refers to this third reduced
rate, and not the zero
OK, it's now not so clean but if the Germans had to reduce VAT from Standard to Reduced, what difference in principle is there in reducing it from Standard to Zero instead, as I suggested above? And in any case, if the ratchet doesn't apply to the Krauts in this instance (or so it seems - on the contrary, they were ordered to move the rate down
) why would it apply to us?
Christ! Some people have to earn a living dealing with this shit!