Back in November 2003, I predicted that the end result of the anti-junk-food campaign would be ‘sin taxes’:
Then on to Step 5: the levying of ‘sin taxes’ on hamburgers to ‘encourage a change of behaviour’. The money raised then pays for a lot more Food Standards Agents.
I hope I will be forgiven for this brief episode of smugness because, not only has my prediction come to pass, but it has come to pass rather more rapidly than even I had anticipated:
A Downing Street-based policy unit has proposed a plan to place a “fat tax” on junk food in an attempt to tackle the rising incidence of heart disease.
According to The Times, the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit raised the prospect of extra duty or VAT being imposed on some of the nation’s favourite foods after heart disease overtook cancer as Britain’s biggest killer, and more young people started developing diabetes.
That is what it was really all about. All the media-hype, all the hand-wringing, all the brow-furrowing and all the phoney ‘caring’. It was all an elaborate ploy by the public sector classes to get their hands on more of your hard-earned. It really is all about revenue.
I heartily recommend pessimism. It enables you to amaze your friends with your powers of prediction and bask in the satisfaction of being borne out by events.