New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

What can we do to change the minds of decision makers and people in general to actually do something about preparing for the forthcoming economic/energy crises (the ones after this one!)?

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adam2
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New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

Post by adam2 »

For health reasons.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57852513

A food trade group has claimed that the proposal could lead to price increases ! Surely that is the idea ? to increase prices so as to discourage consumption.

I can see the merit of a sugar tax, but a tax on salt seems unworkable.
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Re: New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

Post by emordnilap »

Graham McGregor was a guest on The Life Scientific talking about salt and the lives (and money) saved by salt reduction. Fascinating programme, look it up as a podcast.

He reckons less than a gram of added salt per day is feasible. We use hardly any salt and notice straight away food that's got too much.
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adam2
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Re: New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

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Whilst excessive salt is bad for health, I doubt that legislation to reduce levels would be effective. There would have to be exemptions for cooking ingredients such as stock cubes, and for unavoidably salty sauces and spreads such a Marmite. Manufactures would be much better at exploiting loopholes and exemptions than would be the government at making the regulations.
And of course consumers would add extra salt at the table if they wanted this.

Taxing salt as a basic raw material cant realistically be done as it has many non food related uses.

Sugar is different and should in my view be taxed at the point of production or import. No arguments, loopholes or exemptions needed for different types of foodstuffs.
A tax of say £1,000 per ton initially, but increased year on year would help. This would apply equally to sugar in prepared foods and to packs of sugar. Sugar at present retails as cheaply as 60 pence a kilo. A tax of £1,000 a ton would increase this to about £1.60 a kilo.

Sugar has limited non food applications. Nor can most consumers make their own to evade the tax. Personal imports in holiday luggage etc. could be taxed if over say 1 kilo of sugar, or over 10 kilos of prepared foodstuffs.
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Re: New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

Post by Potemkin Villager »

adam2 wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:58 pm

Sugar is different and should in my view be taxed at the point of production or import. No arguments, loopholes or exemptions needed for different types of foodstuffs.
A tax of say £1,000 per ton initially, but increased year on year would help. This would apply equally to sugar in prepared foods and to packs of sugar. Sugar at present retails as cheaply as 60 pence a kilo. A tax of £1,000 a ton would increase this to about £1.60 a kilo.
I agree but sadly not likely when the government is in the pocket of big sugar.
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adam2
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Re: New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

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Some would argue that the government are "in the pocket of" big breweries, or big tobacco, yet they seem happy to impose significant taxes on beer and fags.
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Re: New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

Post by PS_RalphW »

Alcohol and tobacco taxes are highly profitable to the government. I very strongly suspect that the level of tax on each somehow manages to hit the sweet spot between increasing tax and falling demand that maximises income.
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Re: New tax on sugar and salt proposed.

Post by kenneal - lagger »

adam2 wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:00 pm .......
A food trade group has claimed that the proposal could lead to price increases ! Surely that is the idea ? to increase prices so as to discourage consumption.

I can see the merit of a sugar tax, but a tax on salt seems unworkable.
A sugar and salt tax only puts up the price until the manufacturer reduces the level of sugar and/or salt in their product. That's the idea of the tax rather than to stop people eating something altogether. Consumption of the product only reduces if the manufacturer can't reformulate the product.
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