Osborne is truly the heir to Brown, although I doubt Gordon was big on coke and hookers in his student days. He's the heir in that the tax rises only become apparent in the days after the budget, couched in terms like "simplification" (a great phrase for his granny tax) and "correcting anomalies".
The "Greggs Tax", which adds 20% to the cost of food if it's bought hot (effectively taxing a pasty from the bakers like a restaurant meal), will, apart from wiping out the supermarket rotisserie counter (but good news ! when the chickens are stone cold there'll be no VAT!), do terrible damage to Swansea.
At the literal and metaphorical heart of Swansea Market (itself the heart of what the developers have left of the city) are the two stalls which make Welsh cakes on hotplates. There are other stalls selling the cakes, but aficionados like them hot. Whenever I'm there (quite often) I'll pick up some cold ones to take home and for work colleagues, and hot ones to eat within the hour at a relative's. Round the cake stalls are laver bread, cockles, local butter and cheese and other goodies. You may gather I'm fond of the place.
Hot cakes are already more expensive than the cold ones on other stalls, which are baked offsite. Adding a 20% tax to these cakes is a cruel blow to these small but historic businesses and to Welsh cake lovers all over the civilised world.
I doubt very much that Osborne has ever set foot in Swansea Market. It may not be his fault, but in the Commons he has the air of someone who at school might have delighted in holding lower-form boys heads in the toilet then pulling the chain.
I hope that the Welsh Assembly will be in uproar over this iniquitous tax. Let's see what the Plastic Parliament in Cardiff is made of. If ever a tax strike could command overwhelming support it would be here.
Ben White Revisited
14 hours ago