The government must stick to its guns on the sugar tax

Shaun Bailey, Conservative candidate for the London Assembly, former Special Adviser to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Candidate for Hammersmith, defends the sugar tax.

This isn’t about money; it’s about the health of the nation. This isn’t about the nanny state; this is a big step, that, allied with education and clearer labelling, could make a real impact on our obesity crisis, which is vital to the long-term health of the NHS. Yes, this is a tax; but if we don’t each pay a little more at this point, we will end up paying for the consequences later, as the cost and social impact of an unhealthy population on the NHS rockets in the future.

As Conservatives, we are all pro-business, but not at the expense of the health of our children. This is not about reducing competition. All of the companies that use sugar in food products will be put
in the same position, so nobody will be gaining market advantage, or a competitive edge. For low income families it is virtually impossible to buy food that isn’t full of sugar, so by imposing the sugar tax, we will be using free market mechanisms to provide healthy alternatives for these families, facilitating better decision making, and safeguarding the health and well-being of future generations.

In fact, imposing a tax like this is standard government practice. When something is found to be doing damage to the health of the population, it is accounted for. When the lead in petrol was found to be carcinogenic, it was legislated for. When cigarettes were found to cause cancer, taxation caused the price to rocket. Governments act in the interests of their citizens and the political point is that compassionate conservatism involves taking action today to prevent damage tomorrow, and this tax will improve the long-term prospects of millions of British citizens.

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One Comment

  1. taxes are free-market mechanisms? absurd. old fashioned sugar we now know is healthier than artificial, carcinogenic product…labelling is enough and let the people decide. protectionism creates recessions and depressions. free trade has always advanced a healthy economy. leave it alone. cut spending on big government, regulations, and lower the corporate tax rate: THAT is health for Britain!