Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Talking sugar tax blues

I was recently interviewed by the consumer website A Spokesman Said about sugar taxes and minimum pricing...

The government says it isn’t a tax on consumers. Instead, costs will be absorbed by companies that make sugary drinks – what do you say to that?

George Osborne presented it as a tax on corporations, but that was just spin. The evidence from other countries shows that companies nearly always pass taxes onto consumers (as economic theory would predict).

Indeed, they tend to pass it onto consumers and then some. So, that bottle of Coke is probably going to be rounded up from £1.92 to £1.99.

Osborne also tried to portray the tax as optional on the basis that the ‘corporations’ wouldn’t have to pay it at all if they take all the sugar out of their drinks.
That is obviously silly. As long as there is demand for sugary drinks, the companies are going to keep producing them.

Have a read of it all.

I also did an interview with Cameron English reflecting on Jacob Grier's excellent Slate article about secondhand smoke. You can read that here.

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