Friday, 11 April 2008

sticky, but proud

First there were the great Jaffa Cake wars, between McVitie's and HM Government about whether the humble Jaffa Cake was a cake or a biscuit. Biscuits and cakes are considered necessities in UK law and are zero rated for tax.

However, chocolate-covered biscuits are a luxury and subject to VAT at 17.5%. So back in the dark ages, McVities and HM Customs & Excise argued over whether the Jaffa Cake was a cake (no VAT) or a chocolate biscuit (lots of VAT).

The argument went to tribunal for resolution. McVities pulled a 12 inch Jaffa Cake out of the hat to prove cakiness over biscuityness.


The same thing has happened in the multi year argument between Marks and Spencer and HMG about chocolate teacakes.

For anyone confused about chocolate teacakes, we are talking chocolate dome, marshmallow filling, optional red jam and a slightly crunchy base.

They have just been exempted from VAT in the same way that Jaffa Cakes were previously.

However, HMG's sly rearguard action is to say the VAT does not belong to Marks and Spencers, instead it belongs to the customers who paid it. I'm wondering whether to claim back my share of the £15million for some purchases I've made over the years.


And why would I be cheating? because there is really only one proper chocolate teacake.

The Tunnock.

It's the absolute overlord of the teacake domain. Tunnock teacakes don't have jam in them. They don't need jam. They have reached a pinnacle of marshmallow perfection inside the microthin crackly milk chocolate. Try putting one in the fridge before eating it. Miraculous.

Try the perforated Tunnock suction eating technique or the marshmallow popper (er, maybe too much detail).

Lets just say that these teacakes would be worth the VAT, if one had to pay it. Next time you visit a supermarket, look out for the top shelf yellow packaging and furtively score 6 or even 10 of these princely wonders.

You won't look back.

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