Sugar and salt taxes: ‘They’ve led to a few revolutions and wars’

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‘History is littered with salt taxes that led to a few revolutions and wars’

Christopher Snowdon from the Institute of Economic Affairs, criticises plans to introduce sugar and salt taxes, telling Isabel Webster the issue is complex and the government is treating it in a simplistic way.

Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy calls for a sugar and salt reformulation tax as a key part of efforts to transform the nation’s diet to include less sugar, salt and meat to protect health and the environment.

Taxing sugar and salt in products is about reducing the “enormous harm” they do, not pushing up costs for hardworking people, the author of the proposal has said.

Some of the UK’s biggest food retailers and manufacturers have given their support to the proposals laid out in a new food strategy to improve the nation’s health.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Iceland Foods, Greggs, Co-Op and sandwich maker Greencore said they would be willing to sign up to new reporting rules setting out how they are encouraging healthier eating.

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Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, with a population of 356,991 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.

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