Osborne’s Fizzy Drinks Tax: An Unconservative Assault on Free Markets and Consumer Choice

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UK Chancellor George Osborne has used his latest budget to declare war on free markets and consumer choice – in the guise of protecting vulnerable souls from the deadly threat of fizzy drinks.

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Note the weasel justification that this will “encourage companies to reformulate by reducing the amount of added sugar in the drinks they sell.”

But as Christopher Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs points out the fizzy drinks industry already made this move years ago, without any sledgehammer fiscal nudging from headline-grabbing politicians.

Osborne says he hopes the makers of fizzy drinks will reformulate their products. They have already done so. They are called things like Diet Coke, Pepsi Max, Coke Zero and Coke Life.

If people don’t want to drink weird tasting drinks made with vile stuff like saccharine it is certainly not for want of product availability. Indeed, when I go round to people’s houses and they mix me a gin and tonic I all too frequently find myself going “bleeuch” and then having to chuck the noisome concoction down the sink because what they have given me is “Slimline” tonic made with some filthy chemical rather than proper tonic made with nice, wholesome sugar.

Snowdon has done a lot of research into the issue of taxes on sugary drinks and found them to be utterly pointless, except as a crude revenue raising tool.

 

Read the rest at Breitbart.

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