* * * *UPDATE: I have now double-blogged Pat for the second day in a row while also involving myself in a triple blog situation. Please shit on me me accordingly in the comments. I don't know if I go crossed-eyed when I'm checking or what (or am like, bad at my job, ha ha), but my God...
From the Irish Independent:
The Supreme Court has found that the bread in Subway's heated sandwiches has too much sugar in it to meet the legal definition of being bread.
The court ruled that with a high sugar content, the sandwich could not be deemed a staple food which attracts a zero VAT (value added tax) rate. It rejected arguments by a Subway franchisee that it was not liable for VAT on some of its takeaway products, including teas, coffees and heated filled sandwiches.
The five-judge court ruled the bread in Subway's heated sandwiches falls outside that statutory definition because it has a sugar content of 10pc of the weight of the flour included in the dough.
The act provides the weight of ingredients such as sugar, fat and bread improver shall not exceed 2pc of the weight of flour in the dough.
The clear intention of the detailed definition of "bread" in the act was to distinguish between bread as a "staple" food, which should be 0pc rated, and certain other baked goods made from dough, Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell said.
Because the Subway heated sandwiches, such as a hot meatball sandwich, did not contain "bread" as defined, it could not be said to be "food" for the purpose of the Second Schedule of the Act, he held.
Ok, I'm going to try and explain this in the way my brain understood it, which is, by all likelihood, completely wrong…
Sort of like how Philadelphia has a soda tax, anything with a certain amount of sugar gets taxed in Ireland. And Subway was trying not to have to add that tax on their hot sandwiches, but Ireland said there was too much sugar in the hot sandwich bread for them to technically be considered sandwiches (or even their technical definition of 'food' in general), and were therefore not allowed to be exempt from adding said tax?
Someone smarter please taxsplain this if I'm way off.
Taxing bread because it's too sugary might sound crazy to us, (she typed as she shoved yet another frozen Entenmenn's donut in her mouth, taunting diabeetus with every bite), but Europe has waaaaay different food & health standards than us. Portion sizes are smaller & my understanding from some light Googling is that there's less sugar/saturated fats/sodium/calories/preservatives allowed in packaged & fast foods.
But fear not; I've been to Ireland a few times and still found plenty of ways to eat & drink like a dumpster fire (was I paying extra tax for that? Who knows, I was many beers deep & cared not) so no worries to fellow garbage piles who've been ruined by American grub (pass the salt! extra side of ranch pls!) who'd like to make their way over there someday. You'll be just fine.
In closing while I'm on the topic, I leave you with this classic from the late, great Mitch Hedberg. The bread might be a little sugary, but still, it's nice that ducks eat for free at Subway.