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品客如今是薯片

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核心提示:Pringles partially potato crispy snack biscuit things in a tube, now with added VAT. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP After a protracted court case between food giant Procter and Gamble and HM Revenue and Customs, it has been decided, once and for all,


    Pringles partially potato crispy snack biscuit things in a tube, now with added VAT. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

    After a protracted court case between food giant Procter and Gamble and HM Revenue and Customs, it has been decided, once and for all, thatPringles are crisps. This won't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever eaten Pringles - AKA 'crack in a cardboard tube' - which look, taste, sound and feel like pretty much any other preservative laden fried starch - but it's a nicety of taxonomy that's going to cost P&G quite a lot of money.

    As you may remember, a High Court judge ruled only last summer that the Pringle, containing as it does less than 50% potato matter and formed into an entirely artificial shape, does not constitute a crisp - which would attract VAT. It was, the judge ruled, more akin to a cake or bread which, as a general foodstuff is zero rated. This ruling has now been overturned and P&G look set to face a gigantic tax bill to the tune of somewhere over £100m.

    Stop giggling at the back … this isn't funny.

    There's quite a history of products having to argue to defend their status. In 2006 there was an undignified spat when it was realised that Budweiser, brewed from rice rather than malt and hops didn't meet the German Reinheitsgebot purity standards sufficientlytobe called beer. More recently McVitie's biscuits have successfully argued that theJaffa Cake is indeed a zero rated 'cake', rather than a taxable chocolate covered biscuit - are you still following this?

    Let's leave aside the stupendous idiocy of this argument for a moment and just revel in the irony: a huge food processor going to court to publicly and expensively assert that their product is artificial, lacking in natural ingredients and utterly mucked-about with. The fact that they eventually lose and still have to pay a fortune is just too delicious. Is it possible to spontaneously combust from schadenfreude?

    What's your verdict though? Is the Pringle a vital foodstuff from which our government has no right to extract a screw? Or is it a filthy indulgence, a manufactured monstrosity for which we should justifiably be taxed?

    品客薯片其中的一部分产品是一种装在筒状盒子里易碎的马铃薯薄片零食,现在则有了更多的增值税。照片:Lennihan/AP

    经过食品巨人保洁和HM Revenue之间的漫长的诉讼程序,最后的结果是:品客是易碎的。这对所有曾经吃过品客薯片的人来说都不惊奇——众所周知薯片是装在一个纸板筒盒中,它看起来、吃起来、听起来和感觉起来都比其它任何富含防腐剂的油炸食品美妙——但是就是这将要使得保洁花上一大笔钱。

    如你所知,由于品客薯片的马铃薯含量低于50%,而且其形状完全是人工制品,最高法院的法官在去年夏天裁定品客薯片不是油炸薯片——这使得要支付增值税。法官曾经认为,品客薯片更类似于一种蛋糕或者面包,作为一种普遍的食品是零定额的。这个裁决如今被推翻了,因此保洁要面对由这个筒装食品而带来的超过100,000,000£的昂贵的税收账单。

    停止对这件事的傻笑……这并不好笑。

    过去有许多产品必须去争论、去保卫它们的地位。在2006年发生了一个荒谬的争论,百威啤酒是由稻米而非麦芽和蛇麻草酿制的,当时百威啤酒杯披露它没有充分达到德国啤酒《纯净法》标准,而不能称之为啤酒。稍微近一点的时间,比如 McVitie's 电信曾经成功的证明theJaffa Cake实际上是一种零定额的蛋糕而非那种可征税的表面淋了巧克力的饼干——你仍然这么觉得么?

    让我们把这种惊人的白痴的争执先放到一边,来感受一下这其中的讽刺:一个大型食品加工商到法庭去公开而昂贵的声称他们的产品是人造的,缺乏自然成分的,并且最后混淆不清了。他们最后败诉并且仍然要付费的事实是美味的。在幸灾乐祸的同时,会不会引火上身呢?

    你的结论是什么呢?是否是品客是一种重要的食品而我们的政府没有权利对其征税?或者它是一种不洁的放任、一种人造的畸形产物,因此我们有理由对其征税?

 

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关键词: 品客 薯片
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