GOVERNMENT plans to put VAT on the price of hot pasties got a cool response in Leigh.

Members of Leigh Labour Party organised a petition opposing the planned change, which was readily signed by local shoppers, many of whom were angry or dismayed by the budget decision.

One of the protesters was Wigan Council Leader, Peter Smith, who said: "We went out with the petition because we believe this shows yet again how out of touch this government is. For generations local people have bought and enjoyed hot pasties, and now they are to be taxed on this simple pleasure.

"Successful local businesses, like Waterfields, have invested in ovens in each store to provide their product freshly baked as the public like it, and will be bound to be adversely affected by the tax increase.

"If the government knew or cared about ordinary people, they would not have introduced this tax while cutting tax on millionaires, such as bankers. It is a daft tax which is only charged on hot pasties, so presumably we will need pasty police to check on pasty temperatures. We will continue to protest, and Andy Burnham, who joined us on Saturday, will take the fight to Parliament."