London, July 3: British prime minister contender Boris Johnson has on Tuesday promised to launch a review into sin taxes, suspending the “explosion of sin taxes” levied on fatty, sugar, and salty food products, by declaring war on the nanny state.
According to Reuters news reports, he pledged to launch a review of those sin taxes that might include those on tobacco and alcohol, in order to assess whether they “clobber” the poor.
He seeks to examine whether tax levies on alcohol, sugar, and tobacco are effective and has promised not to introduce further taxes until his review is complete.
UK sugar tax on soft drinks came into effect in April, in an effort to handle the childhood obesity with some officials toying with the idea of levies over the products with high fat and salt content to boost strategy.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, also contesting to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, said he would target manufacturers rather than targeting taxpayers, when it comes to less healthy food products.
However, Johnson reiterated a milkshake tax to his opposition, stating it would “clobber those who can least afford it”.
“If we want people to lose weight and live healthier lifestyles, we should encourage people to walk, cycle and generally do more exercise,” he said.
“Rather than just taxing people more, we should look at how effective the so-called ‘sin taxes’ really are, and if they actually change behaviour.”
According to the excerpts from his party, Johnson will say: “Once we leave the EU on 31 October, we will have a historic opportunity to change the way politics is done in this country,” adding, “A good way to start would be basing tax policy on clear evidence.”
Hunt stated he would “threaten” milkshakes or less healthy drink and food’s manufactures, with law enforcement “if they don’t play ball”.
He added: “But my experience is, if you make that threat, you don’t actually need to follow through with the dreaded milkshake tax.”
An independent panel has advised the World Health Organization (WHO) last month to stop recommending taxes over fatty and sugary drinks after failing to reach a common deal.