Time to Introduce a Fat Tax
The health of nations is more important than the wealth of nations.
Chief Medical Officer of Barbados Dr. Kenneth George was quoted in the news recently his concern about the rise of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs). He singled out hypertension commonly referred to as the silent killer.
His intervention on the vexing issue of the high incidence of NCDs should give the country pause. A scan of the 2019-2020 Draft Estimates (TABLE 5) confirms what we know, taxpayers for another year will be asked to finance a significant national health budget allocation. Several years on if an honest assessment were to be made the conclusion has to be, we MUST change our health policy. In other words, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Minister Jeffery Bostic- the country has not only descended into the economic doldrums, please add the health of citizens.
Barbadians have enthusiastically ingested the fast food culture exported from the Great White North. There is a generation weaned on Chefette and KFC menus. A typical pastime on social media is to be on the lookout for the ‘specials. The consumption behaviour of fast food will not change anytime soon. We should expect the ramification of the addiction to remove a large slice from national budget pie.
Under normal circumstances the adage that “the most important part of solving a problem is to know” will not apply. We have crossed the Rubicon. To impose a fat tax – call it what you want – will cause a sitting government to lose at the next general election. It is that serious.
Instead we prefer to glamorize obesity and blame a busy lifestyle which does not permit finding one hour to cook a meal.
Instead we prefer to glamorised oversized men and women to justify that to engage in an unhealthy lifestyle is acceptable because we are too busy doing some irrelevant activity.
Our health is not important enough to make time. Read the excuses now!
The blogmaster is not so naive to disregard the right of individuals to do as they please within the bounds of the law. However, if the errant behaviour will increase my tax contribution there is a good argument that those intent on feeding a negative lifestyle should pay a disproportionate the tax contribution.