Fat tax study
LONDON - A “fat tax” on salty, sugary and fatty foods could save thousands of lives each year, according to a study published on Thursday.
Researchers at Oxford University say that charging Value Added Tax (VAT) at 17.5 percent on foods deemed to be unhealthy would cut consumer demand and reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes.
A value added tax is a nice way of taxing a consumer, but not really tax them, because the tax doesn't show up on their receipt. Instead the tax is on the guy who makes the food, the guy that packages the food, the guy that ships the food and the guy that sells the food. No harm, no foul for the consumer, right? WRONG. The consumer still pays a higher amount approximating the amount of the collected taxes already accumulated on their purchase. In this case, 17.5 percent.
So, only the people who eat fatty foods are targeted. What about those who eat high carbohydrate products? High calorie products? High nitrate products? Non-organic products? High cholestrol products? Products high in artifical flavors and colors? High sodium products? They have all been shown to encourage obesity, disease, and/or other health problems.
My point? Opening the door to taxing food for fatty content means opening the door to taxing food for whatever the zeitgeist doctors and nutritionists decide is the demon food of the day. We don't need a bureacracy to decide on a health quotient for the foods we buy and then tax us accordingly.
That is the direction that taxing fatty foods leads us to.
We need to be wary of Creepin Nutritionism.