Having a sweet tooth? Our government officials think they need to additionally tax sweet drinks (soft drinks) on top of the existing 9,5% VAT for foods, because they are somehow ruining our children. Luckily, common sense (or sugar lobbies) prevailed and the tax was dropped. However, I still feel the need to write about it. There are several reasons why and it should be as a reminder for countries that plan to introduce this nonsense.
The main and very much fundamental problem with it was the way how they wanted to execute it. With financial problems throughout the EU, our government is desperate for income on all ends and as such, every excuse to collect money is a good one. And I frankly wouldn’t even be against it, if it was done right. But they flopped at very basics and went with it till the very end of it.
Great, if you collect the tax from soft drinks because of their sugar content, dedicate the collected finances into healthcare then. Making people aware of over consumption of sugar in our diet and how it may lead to problems, educate people how to lower the intake, what are the alternatives and substitutes, promote and encourage soft drinks companies to try and use less sugar, natural low GI sweeteners etc, potentially for the same price. But no, in our governments tradition, they’d spend it on a new car park of freaking Audi’s. The usual shit that always pisses me off. It’s never about proactivity and actual benefit of your nation, it’s always just how to make the government fat pig even fatter and then spend it on idiotic things.
The second thing that just didn’t compute are alcohol drinks on the other end of the spectrum. I can easily say we are the nation of drunks and if you think Russians with vodka are the worst offenders, you are most likely wrong. Being drunk is like a national sport over here and even though alcohol is a massive problem for physical and mental health, alcohol is also often the major reason for domestic violence, we have staggering statistics for drunk drivers and if you’re not drunk for every stupid occasion, you’re taken as something lesser of a person. I kid you not. I know it because I’m a very light drinker who’s never ever been drunk to a point not to remember things or to vomit all over my own jacket. It just never happened because I don’t feel any need for such self confirmation. I’m always like a party pooper because the most I’ll ever drink will be 2 beers and at some point, stuff that is fun to the drunk people around me won’t really be fun to me sitting there very much sober. So I don’t really participate in the drinking culture, because I just can’t fit in. Anyway, to make a point, those rather harmless (in comparison) soft drinks were in for additional tax where already greatly problematic alcohol would go through unharmed. And me as a person who rather drinks a glass of Coca Cola or Fanta over several shots of vodka, simply felt greatly offended by this.
I’d be additionally taxed for consuming some more sugar over someone who might kill a family on a highway just because he was dead drunk and still had to drive. Or having failed liver or other alcohol related health issues that cost tax payers millions on yearly basis. But no, sugar in drinks is the biggest offender here. Well fuck you government fucks. I’m glad that the proposal for this tax has fallen flat on its face.
Either make a meaningful tax and spend the collected finances on a good cause that would at the end of the day actually benefit something or don’t even bother doing it.