A Tax on Sugar

In a surprise move yesterday, the British Chancellor announced in the Budget that there would be a sugar tax introduced on soft drinks that carry a large amount of that substance.

The shock that the public, and indeed many of his own political party, received from this announcement was as nothing compared to the shock received by those in the industry.

Photo0321 (2)

A nice cup of tea with no sugar in it and an apple that doesn’t have a great deal either.

In an interview earlier this morning, I was privileged to speak to the anonymous CEO of a major soft drinks company, Mr Satan Moneyglutton. Weeping copiously, he explained to me:

‘For long years we have been told that what people want are chemical compounds devoid of any nutritional merit, packed full of sugar, and now I feel that we have been stabbed in the back.

‘On the best advice from the governments of the day, we undertook our duty, I would almost say our mission, which we take very seriously indeed, to create a nation of fat people with poor health and rotten teeth.

‘And now the accumulated wisdom of years is being ignored. If these drinks are now said to be so bad, then why are they so effective at causing children to lose concentration and run up the walls of classrooms and become disruptive?

‘If they are so bad, then how come we manage to get such a large proportion of the public addicted to them? Our products are industrial success writ large.

‘This is nothing more than an attack on enterprise and the free market. Why no tax on water? Or tea or juices? I suppose the Chancellor prefers fine teas to a nice bottle of ChemoSludge *TM.

‘And it is socially divisive! This will hit the poor the hardest, since this is where we make most of our profits. We know that the poorer the family, the less likely they are to be well educated, and then the more likely they are to purchase our elixirs. This is where this horribly unfair tax will hit.

‘We were given no warning, no sign of this change of mood. Where will it all end? First they try to destroy the reputation of our lovely healthy tobacco industry, and now this. Honestly, I fear that the government’s next target might even be our ObeseBurgers *TM.’

At this point, the line to the Cayman Islands went dead.

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42 thoughts on “A Tax on Sugar

  1. Oh, the angst, Mick! But we’ve been there before. The new tax on sugar reminds me of the old taxes on windows (18thc). And on glass (19thc). And on swearing in public (London, circa 1623). All had to be repealed. The building industry wouldn’t stand for them. Nor would builders. (No brick has ever been laid without a cuss word.)

    Wait for the backlash. If sugar is to be taxed, manufacturers will switch to synthetic substitutes. Then we’ll have new health scares. Aspartame has long been under attack (probably by the sugar lobby). Next targets… fructose, saccharin and honey. Beekeepers will gather in Brussels to release storms of killer bees into EU assemblies. Good luck to them, I say. Governments already have too many bees in their bonnets…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t like the synthetic sweeteners myself, either. Don’t see the use for them. Of course, the honey won’t be (or bee) around for much longer once we’ve killed off all the bees, either.
      Oh, I’ve contained my rants for seven months so far, I fear they are all going to come gushing out soon! Perhaps now is the time!

      Like

        1. Anything along those lines that damages health should be a target, at least in my opinion. It is interesting to learn that the study of skeletons unearthed in archaeological digs in the UK shows that up until sugar was introduced into the diet (in the 16th century, I think), despite the relatively poor hygiene of the average person, teeth tended to be in pretty good condition. As soon as sugar arrived, the effect was catastrophic.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. It might be either, depending on the substance in question. Sugar; taxation, possibly depending on what form it’s in (I’ll leave that to the experts to work out). Prohibition I’m not sure about. You hear the arguments from both sides about drugs being legal or illegal, and there is probably merit in both of them, although it can get quite complex. What are your thoughts?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I think the so-called ‘war on drugs’ is an utter failure, and has merely brought us incarceration on an industrial scale in the U.S. – mainly of non-white citizens. Eugene Jarecki explored this in his wonderful documentary, and David Simon speaks eloquently on the same issue.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. This really deserves a post in its own right – fancy doing it?
                There is certainly a huge amount of misery produced by the W.O.D., for example the massive amount of crime carried out to fund the habits of the users by purchasing from criminals, the Crime syndicates controlling it (think of all the murders in Colombia), the addicts afraid of getting help…and on and on.
                Part of me still finds it difficult, though, to think of decriminalising the use/possession of highly addictive and potentially dangerous hard drugs, knowing how easily youngsters just get hooked on smoking tobacco through peer pressure and a wish to look cool. It might prove to take a similar route.

                Liked by 1 person

            3. It’s a tricky one isn’t it Mick? It’s hard to reconcile the legalised selling of dangerous drugs with any moral consideration, as you rightly say. Then again, those same dangerous (Class A) drugs are being sold in any case, and with attendant huge costs to society and yet with no compensatory revenue collection. I think Jarecki and Simon explore the issue comprehensively and most thoughtfully. On balance, my belief is that we ought legalise drugs, tax their sale and license all retailers. But it’s complicated, admittedly, and far from being without huge downsides.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. As a regular customer of Mr. Moneyglutton’s fine product, I was highly impressed by his cogent line of reasoning and highly principled stance. I’d go into more detail here if I had the time, but unfortunately I have a dental appointment I have to attend.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: A Tax on Sugar – joustingwiththeimagination

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