Norwich chip shop owner sets up petition to get VAT taken off fish and chips
PUBLISHED: 12:06 11 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:06 11 May 2019
A Norwich takeaway owner has launched a petition to get tax removed from fish and chips.
It's a Friday night favourite and sea side classic but due to increasing fish and potato prices Paul Slater, who owns the Long John Hill Fish Bar, on Long John Hill fears fish and chips may soon become too expensive for many to regularly afford.
Now, in the face of rising costs and in a bid to reduce costs to the consumer, the 48-year-old has set up a petition calling for VAT -which is 20pc- to be taken off fish and chips.
Mr Slater who has run the Long John Hill takeaway for five years and who has been in the fish and chip business for 15 years said that during that period he had seen the price of cod and haddock "go through the roof".
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Putting the increase of fish prices down to a combination of the weak pound, Brexit and fishing quotas Mr Slater said: "At the end of the day if prices continue to go up, and I've heard they're going to over the next few months, then we're going to be a in place where fish and chips is a very expensive meal,
"Fish and chips have been a part of British heritage for many years, I think it's a tradition on a Friday, people head down to the fish and chip shop and it's a lovely meal," he said.
Adding that as the price of the fish and chips increased so did the profit the government made from VAT on the meal Mr Slater said: "We need to do something as a business and an industry to reduce the cost [of fish and chips] and I think a big chunk of that is VAT.
"It's important that people understand what's happening with regards to fish prices at the moment, they need to understand why prices are going up and a big part of that is VAT as well as sustainability and getting people to try other fish."
Adding that many of his customers hadn't realised VAT was added to fish and chips, Mr Slater said once they did, people were often happy to sign the petition. He said: "A regular cod and chips from here is £6.50 but £1.10 of that is VAT, [when you explain] to the customers that £1.10 of their cod or haddock is going to the government, they're very keen to sign up and push the petition forward."
The petition which needs to receive 10,000 signatures in order for ti to be discussed in parliament can be found here.