Home > australian politics > Danish Fat Tax Scrapped – A Lesson for Australian Tax Philosophy

Danish Fat Tax Scrapped – A Lesson for Australian Tax Philosophy

Danish lawmakers have scrapped the fat tax – a tax designed to encourage people to eat healthy food. The Danish tax ministry quoted:

“The fat tax and the extension of the chocolate tax – the so-called sugar tax – has been criticized for increasing prices for consumers, increasing companies’ administrative costs and putting Danish jobs at risk”

Sounds exactly like the taxes recently introduced by the Labor government in Australia. Sure the stuff being taxed is different, but I’m talking about tax philosophy. I’m talking about how governments go about maintaining a healthy economy whilst at the same time achieve other social and environmental goals. The consequences of the Danish fat tax are exactly the same as the consequences of the carbon tax and mining tax. Australian jobs are at risk and living costs are forever increasing.

Is taxing stuff the answer? Is adding to our already high cost base the best way to go when we already can’t compete in international markets? Manufacturing, tourism and retail continue to decline and the new taxes keep rolling in.

Mette Gjerskov, the Danish minister for food, agriculture and fisheries, said during a news conference:

“The fat tax is one of the most maligned we [have] had in a long time. Now we have to try improving the public health by other means.”

You mean there are other ways of achieving a goal apart from decimating business through tax hikes? Labor take heed. We need a government that can manage the budget and lower the cost of Australian business. The current government in Australia is exactly the opposite.

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  1. November 13, 2012 at 4:23 am | #1

    If governments don’t collect tax then there is no infrastructure, no services, no benefits except those that the freemarketeers provide. And given their basic premise ‘if you want it you have to pay — us’ then it would be a pretty sorry society. Welcome to America!!

    • November 13, 2012 at 5:13 am | #2

      Your comment is off topic. Yes government needs tax to provide those services. It’s not related to the post though. I’m talking about the philosophy of taxes like the fat tax, carbon tax, mining tax. General tax revenue through income tax, gst etc is irrelevant. What is the best way to achieve goals other than the goal of revenue collecting. More tax? It seems for the fat tax, maybe not.

    • November 13, 2012 at 5:25 am | #3

      Actually indirectly your comment reaffirms the labor government’s idea – these extra taxes are to help labor with their inability to manage the budget rather than for anything else.

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