That mob over in the UK have a lot to answer for.
I went into the Irish Times Health section this morning – ten articles and five of them were about taxing sugary drinks.
So here we have a classic example of the Lemming Syndrome – someone else has done it so we must do it regardless of the rights and wrongs of an iniquitous tax with little or no effect on "the obesity crisis".
The Irish gubmint basically want to tax only two things – anything that moves and anything that doesn't. This sugar business is a boon for them as it allows them to scrape yet more tax, predominantly out of the pockets of the poorer in society. The fact that they can scream "health" and "children" in the same breath makes it all the easier for them.
In one of the articles [“Irish food industry” etc] there is a simple poll – do you welcome a sugar tax, or some such wording. Naturally I selected No, and I then see the results…. 21% agree with me! So 79% presumably voted Yes which brings to mind an expression about turkeys and Christmas. The Bovine Herd have spoken and they want more taxation? I despair.
In the same article they show a graph illustrating the levels of so called obesity amongst 15 year olds, showing the US, the OECD average, Ireland and the UK. Interestingly the UK comes bottom and Ireland comes in below the OECD average. The US of course is in an orbit of its own. So where is the problem? Where is the crisis? Where's this epidemic?
They spout their reasons of course.
“There are two reasons [for sugar taxation]. The first is that the tax will have some effect on the levels of consumption,” he said.
No it won't. It will just raise the cost of living for those who can least afford it.
“The other is a more fundamental reason. By putting a tax on these goods you are sending out a very clear signal to parents that these are the sorts of calories they can and should avoid.”
Are parents really going to look at the higher prices and "get the clear signal"? No. They will sigh and just pay the extra. An extra few pence on an item just sends a clear signal that the gubmint is greedy and pandering to the fascists in the health lobby.
Mr Perry said the argument that such policy unequally targeted low income families held no merit as “sugary drinks are not a vital part of anyone’s diet. You are talking about empty calories”.
And here we have the great disconnect. He responds to an objection with a completely irrelevant answer. In his strange world, people will stop buying something simply because its's "not a vital part of anyone's diet"? This Perry bloke is the epitome of the health fascist – you can't have it if it isn't nutritionally pure and essential. There is no joy in his world. Flavour and enjoyment must be ruled out for the sake of health. The key words are "You are talking about empty calories".
The Bovine Herd don't seem to realise the world they are leading themselves into. A world without empty calories and "non-essentials" means a world without desserts or cake; a world without sweets or alcohol; basically a world without any of the little joys in life. All those things are "empty calories" and ultimately will be taxed out of existence "for our own good". We must only partake of that which is healthy and essential as everything else is bad for us.
Welcome to the world of the Puritan.