A WITHERN bakery joined a march on Downing Street in protest at the introduction of the 'pasty tax'.
The Government is planning to introduce VAT on products in bakeries that are heated to bring them in line with other hot takeaway foods, like fish and chips.
The owners of Pocklingtons Bakery Ltd believe the 20 per cent VAT will deter customers from buying their hot pasties, pies and sausage rolls at a time of economic hardship for many.
Chris Pocklington, 47, his wife Tina, 54, and daughter Hollie, 19, run the bakery chain which was established in 1924.
Mr Pocklington said: "It is the wrong time to be putting 20 per cent VAT on pies, sausage rolls and pasties.
"Footfall in the high street is down and people are spending less on everything, including food.
"Most of the customers we have spoken to have said they are not going to pay an extra 20p for a £1 pasty.
"We are going to face the situation where a customer comes in to buy a sausage roll and he can either buy a cold one for £1 or a hot one that is two hours fresher than the cold one for £1.20 – despite being exactly the same product that has been through exactly the same processes."
The family joined other bakers from across the UK taking part in the march, including the High Street chain Greggs.
They also handed in a petition, signed by several hundred of their customers, to Downing Street.
A Treasury spokeswoman said the Government was closing a loophole in VAT payments.
She said: "The Budget closes loopholes and addresses anomalies to ensure a level playing field, including on hot takeaway food.
"In fact, VAT is already paid on over 90 per cent of all hot takeaway food."