Tax on sugar?

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 10:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

The Chief Medical Office for England has said that it may be necessary to consider introducing a tax on sugar in view of the increased levels of obesity and chronic ill health linked to excessive consumption of sugar in foods.

Is this:


  • an unacceptable manifestation of the nanny state and an unacceptable intrusion into matters that should be for personal responsibility; or
  • a regrettable necessity as a public health measure given the projected growing burden on society of conditions such as diabetes linked to excess consumption of sugar in foods

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 5:02 pm

Disclaimer: I think polls are irrelevant BS and totally meaningless up until a few days before an election.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 5:32 pm

Mike Smithson's political betting site..

Yougov had 41 % yesterday...

Comres which is more accurate or at least was at the last election....Has an 8 point lead...

Lovely...... Cool 

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 5:48 pm

Really, link? Because ukpollingreport posted this YESTERDAY:

Meanwhile the daily YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 5:48 pm

#stillnotrelevant

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 5:52 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Mike Smithson's political betting site.. 

He also does not have 41% you numbskull:

http://politicalbetting.com/

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:01 pm

You know TopHat, when you're in full flow it's all rather dreamy to watch.

clap

And I do especially agree with the point about greater education at school needed to combat obesity.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:02 pm

Calm down....really dear..

Like I said before it's the share not the lead that counts..

Conservatives only get close when UKIP goes down !! Cool Cool 

The block vote is still very strong Deary..

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:04 pm

Duty and Toppy both right wingers and both single.....

The right wing can't seem to attract anything these days..

Never mind hey !!

Anybody see that clip of the Farage interview on Andrew Neil's show the other week...Where Neil chucked a load of policies at Farage and Farage said they were awful and UKIP wouldn't implement them...

Then he got told they were out of his manifesto !!  Laugh Laugh  What a joke !


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Post by kingraf on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:14 pm

Taxing sugar is slightly ridiculous, what next? Tax the fat? Tax red meat? It's ridiculous tax punishments that make me glad Mary Juan isn't legalised... Can't tax what isn't legal!!
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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:32 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Duty and Toppy both right wingers and both single.....

The right wing can't seem to attract anything these days..

Never mind hey !!

Anybody see that clip of the Farage interview on Andrew Neil's show the other week...Where Neil chucked a load of policies at Farage and Farage said they were awful and UKIP wouldn't implement them...

Then he got told they were out of his manifesto !!  Laugh Laugh  What a joke !

So, to clarify, you still can't back up what you said re the poll stats?

And if it's share not lead, then why is 38:34 in Labour's favour anything to shout about?

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:33 pm

Duty281 wrote:You know TopHat, when you're in full flow it's all rather dreamy to watch.

clap

And I do especially agree with the point about greater education at school needed to combat obesity.

You're just in a happy place because there's a naked photo of Tom Daley circulating the www apparently..... Smile

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 7:26 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Duty281 wrote:You know TopHat, when you're in full flow it's all rather dreamy to watch.

clap

And I do especially agree with the point about greater education at school needed to combat obesity.

You're just in a happy place because there's a naked photo of Tom Daley circulating the www apparently..... Smile

Ah..god bless the internet. laughing

And god bless right-wing politics, always there to combat the cancer of socalism.

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Post by Ent on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 11:02 pm

Will the sugar tax hit our pockets or will it be a levy on manufacturers?

Who knows what the replacement will be (ever wonder whats in a fat free yoghurt??).

It will almost certainly be a tax on refined and not natural sugars.

The WHO is about to release advice to people about halving the sugar in their diet.

You can cook fresh/non processed foods cheaply and efficiently - what do people think happened before microwaves etc and when there was genuine poverty.

Worried about wastage - freeze leftovers, lasts months. Easy.

The basic job of a Government is to look after the people who elect them, enough of this nanny state nonsense.

Unless people live in a cave they will be aware that eating too much and doing too little makes you fat, people are stupid (all of us are stupid in some ways). You could spend millions and millions on educating and training the next generation to cook cheap nutritious meals and a % of them will still eat pot noodles with lard sauce and end up obese. After all smoking causes cancer and people still do it.


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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 11:16 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:..... The Chief Medical Officer can go an screw himself........

Need to impart the vital intelligence that the Chief Medical Officer is female.  Run

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 12:13 am

TopHat24/7 wrote:You can't handle better.

Wonder what poor people think, with patronising oafs like you preaching about them all the time from your cosseted middle class enclaves.

Simple fact is you can eat healthy for cheaper than you can eat junk food.

But crass pompous lecturing idiots like you use anything to score cheap political points, therefore turning a tax on something considered dangerous to people's health into an attack on the poor because according to you all they eat is pizza, fried chicken and turkey twizzlers.


Oh, dear.....   Once again we fall into the trap of stereotyping people with the usual inane generalisations about the poor as all being hopeless fatties / chavs / drug addicts / alcoholics...... with seven kids, multiple tattoos and horrible snarling dogs that attack babies in prams.  

Sugar, eh..?   I remember when it was rationed, but being but a mere pup, you've never known a day's shortage of anything  in your life...... courtesy of the working classes who rebuilt this country after World War II.  

History lesson:  Sugar rationing in the UK ended in 1953, shortly after the Queen was crowned.  Meat and all other foods were still rationed until the following year.   You should count your blessings, son.  

But let's talk about a tax on sugar.  Firstly, what sort of tax is proposed..?   Well, it couldn't be VAT, because that is zero rated for all foodstuffs (notwithstanding certain cooked foods) and even the Tories wouldn't fall into the trap of opening that particular Pandora's Box for staple foodstuffs.   They sure as hell won't campaign during a general election on that ticket.  

The Tories and a tax on food...?   Think pasties and then ask yourself if even a crass eejit like Osborne wants his skinny butt being given a good whuppin' a second time.

I can't think of any other tax that would be applicable to sugar so if anybody has any idea what category of taxation would be applied, I think we can pretty much say the whole question is entirely the Chief Medical Officer's own personal pipe-dream.

I can understand the CMO wanting to advise the public on the dangers of obesity..... and she's right to do so...... but once we are advised, she should leave us all to make our own decisions like big boys and girls.   Personally, I don't take a lot of sugar, save for that which is concealed in foods.  I don't put it in beverages and I don't sprinkle it on my breakfast Wheaties.  But if it's concealed in this or that food that I'm partial to a nibble of, well, the sugar content is on the label and I have a choice as to whether or not I buy / eat it.   Thanks for the advice, Mr CMO, now would you please let me make my own choices.

Ta very much.
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Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:17 am

4L - 'all foodstuffs' aren't zero VAT rated.

The makers of Jaffa Cakes spent millions on court cases, all the way to the EU, to prove their product/'foodstuff' was a biscuit (zero rated) not a cake (liable for VAT, cannot remember what rate).

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Post by Ent on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:33 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:4L - 'all foodstuffs' aren't zero VAT rated.

The makers of Jaffa Cakes spent millions on court cases, all the way to the EU, to prove their product/'foodstuff' was a biscuit (zero rated) not a cake (liable for VAT, cannot remember what rate).

Was the other way round wasn't it.

I looked at the list, there are plenty of foodstuffs standard rated rather than zero rated - a lot of them tend to be processed or contain refined sugars.

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 8:03 am

TopHat24/7 wrote:4L - 'all foodstuffs' aren't zero VAT rated.

The makers of Jaffa Cakes spent millions on court cases, all the way to the EU, to prove their product/'foodstuff' was a biscuit (zero rated) not a cake (liable for VAT, cannot remember what rate).


You're quite right that the end product of many products may be VATable, Toppers, but the key part of that is "end product".

I gave, in my message, the example of certain cooked foods, such as takeaway meals. I hoped that would suffice to explain that I am aware there are exceptions.

But the basic ingredients of those foods... that is, their constituent parts, are not VATable.

Now.... again.... I'm not 100% certain of this (I'm not a tax accountant) and perhaps somebody with more knowledge can put us all right on this point, but as I understand it, VAT is not applied to what we would call "staple" foodstuffs. That is, things that form the very basis of the daily diet, such as fish, eggs, bread, milk and so on. I believe that sugar, that is, say, a packet of sugar, is exempt and therefore does not attract the tax. Whether sugar is an ingredient in a biscuit is irrelevant, it is the biscuit that is being taxed, not the sugar that is in it.

If this were changed so that staples were taxed, it would inevitably lead to challenges from HMRC to change the status of other foodstuffs. A tax on milk because it is a dairy product that could cause coronary thrombosis..? Where would it end..? It sure as hell isn't going to make the government of the day popular. I think we can agree on that.

Politicians often walk fine lines in what they legislate for, and to open the door to something that could bog them down for a long time, in nugatory work on something that is only ever going to be a political points loser is not the sort of thing a smart administration would wish for.

The Chief Medical Officer is not a politician. In my opinion, she shouldn't be involved in making political comments about taxation. Her job is to advise the government on the state of the nation's health and what affects it.  

And that's where her job ends.



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Post by TopHat24/7 on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 9:49 am

The Fourth Lion wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:4L - 'all foodstuffs' aren't zero VAT rated.

The makers of Jaffa Cakes spent millions on court cases, all the way to the EU, to prove their product/'foodstuff' was a biscuit (zero rated) not a cake (liable for VAT, cannot remember what rate).


You're quite right that the end product of many products may be VATable, Toppers, but the key part of that is "end product".  

I gave, in my message, the example of certain cooked foods, such as takeaway meals.  I hoped that would suffice to explain that I am aware there are exceptions.


I'm not talking about what you get from your local kebab shop, 4L. In other words, you're now needing to twist your definition to suit your flakey VAT knowledge/comments.

It's already been dealt with in the 'fresh v junk' debate about how it is better and cheaper to cook with fresh ingredients. 'Food stuffs' is a huge term that encompasses many many different things, but certainly not referring to purely raw ingredients.

Unprocessed 'foodstuffs' are zero-rated, but they are not the problem here or what the CMO is getting her knickers in a twist about, it's the processed food where lashings of salt and sugar are used to disguise flavour failings that are the issue.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:05 am

The Fourth Lion wrote:
......The Chief Medical Officer is not a politician.  In my opinion, she shouldn't be involved in making political comments about taxation.  Her job is to advise the government on the state of the nation's health and what affects it.  

And that's where her job ends.
Interesting that a previous Chief Medical Officer stuck his neck out and argued quite strongly for a ban on smoking in public places in view of the health impact. This was at a time when politicians were dithering about the politics of it and worrying about a backlash.  In the end, after a bit of time and emboldened I think by action elsewhere, eg in Scotland, the politicians finally got round to a ban in England.  Probably there would not now be all that many votes in policy to restore smoking in enclosed public spaces.  Seems like a CMO can play valuable role sometimes in thinking and saying the unthinkable.... It's probably a way of saying there's little point in having a public health policy at all if you don't do something radical about problem X - where that problem such as smoking related deaths or obesity related morbidity is one of the largest public health problems facing the country.  But agree it's a fine line to tread as regards political intervention.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 10:11 am

Great post Corporal.

Worst thing about the smoking ban was everyone realised how much everyone STINKS in nightclubs!

Remember my first shift working in a Walkabout after the ban, started at 10pm (so everyone had had an opportunity to get nice and sweaty) and it fooking REAKED!!! Almost threw up......  vomit 

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:11 pm

The Fourth Lion wrote:
I can understand the CMO wanting to advise the public on the dangers of obesity..... and she's right to do so...... but once we are advised, she should leave us all to make our own decisions like big boys and girls...Thanks for the advice, Mr CMO, now would you please let me make my own choices.

Ta very much.

I'm not sure I agree with that. I understand where you're coming from, but I think that the CMO is an inherently political position, otherwise what's the point of it? Public health isn't simply a matter of "here are the facts, do as you will", because it has wider implications. Take vaccination as an example. If I choose not to have my child vaccinated, not only do I place them at risk, but I also increase the risk to the general population.

Similarly, obesity has a massive social cost. You can start at the top and look at the obvious health implications of obesity (heart disease, cancer, musculo-skeletal issues, mental health). These will have a huge impact on the NHS and therefore also on the taxpayer. But you can work all the way down and look at specific details. A nation of obese people require different facilities - bigger seats on planes, bigger cars, bigger parking spaces, reinforced ambulances. Any one of these items is trivial, but the issue as a whole is huge (no pun intended).[/quote]


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Post by kingraf on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 2:32 pm

Jason taxing anything actually helped ever? My local tells me that in all his years at in business - He's never seen business slow down for more than a week after an increased sin tax. Would imagine it's the same that side as well. I've heard crossfit leads to a higher rate of rhabdo - should we tax them as well on the basis of the inevitable strain they will put on the health system?
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