Thursday 4 July 2019

The year of the milkshake

I wrote a piece for the Telegraph about Boris Johnson's opposition to a milkshake tax...

Insofar as sin taxes encourage behavioural change, they encourage people of modest means to cut expenditure in other parts of the household budget. There’s an old Russian joke in which a boy asks his father if he will drink less now that vodka is so expensive. "No, my son," he says. "You will eat less."

Tax receipts from alcohol, tobacco, gambling and sugary drinks rake in £24 billion a year. This is a colossal sum of money that far exceeds the associated costs to the NHS and is difficult to justify in a free society. Of all the tax cuts that have been proposed during the Tory leadership contest, the most progressive – in the true sense of the word – would be to slash sin taxes.

If you have a subscription, do read it all.

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