A fat tax could be the answer to Britain’s obesity time-bomb, David Cameron suggested yesterday.
The Prime Minister revealed he was looking at following Denmark, which has imposed a surcharge on foods with more than 2.3 per cent saturated fat. The tax – being considered at a time of rampant food price inflation – could put 25p on the price of a pack of butter and 8p on a packet of crisps.
Although no details have been worked out, the levy would target products such as milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food. Mr Cameron said drastic action was needed because by 2050 more than half of the population is predicted to be obese – so fat their health is in danger.
But many of his backbenchers will criticise the move as an example of the ‘nanny state’ his party is supposed to oppose. Mr Cameron’s intervention overshadowed the Manchester conference speech by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in which he announced plans to ban foreign doctors who cannot speak English.
Mr Cameron told Channel 5 News: ‘A fat tax is something that we should look at. The problem in the past when people have looked at using the tax system in this way is the impact it can have on people on low incomes. But frankly, do we have a problem with the growing level of obesity? Yes'.