Plaid Cymru sugar tax blunder

plaid pop taxI have just received a bulk email from Plaid Cymru promoting its latest stupid plan – introduce a 20% tax on all sweet drinks in Wales.

The justification:

  1. Sweet drinks are bad for you
  2. A 20% tax would reduce consumption
  3. The extra money grab could be funnelled in to the NHS

So what’s wrong with that?, you may ask.

Where do I begin.

First off, I want to establish that I have no conflict of interest in writing this post. I don’t like sweet drinks and never buy them. nether does my partner, This new tax, if established, would have no bad effect on me.

But it is an attack on low income people. Sure, Assembly Members can continue to guzzle their sweet drinks and not even notice the extra 20% cost to their salaries. But there must me many, many people on low incomes, for whom sweet drinks are a little treat to get them through the day.

Sure, too much sugar consumption is bad for you, I don’t dispute that. But since when is it the role of government to punish people for making bad personal choice?

Do we want to live in a country where the government tries to control what we eat by punishing us for consuming things they disapprove of?

And where does that kind of thinking lead to? Living in a state where the government tries to control everything we do and think – for our “own good”?

What kind of Orwellian nightmare is Plaid Cymru planning for us?

So to come back to this latest threatening proposal, increasing taxes sweet drinks, the end result may be a slight decrease on sweet drink consumption, but it will definitely mean making those on low incomes even poorer.

What can these control-freak do-gooders be thinking?!!

If the enormous burden of taxation on alcohol, tobacco and petrol teaches us anything is that it simply doesn’t work. if it did there would be few cars on the road and most pubs would be shut down, and the tobacco companies would have to take their business elsewhere.

The fact that most people continue to drive, many drink, and a significant minority continues to puff simply means that these ‘punishment taxes’ just make poor people even poorer. That’s not what a government should be doing nor is it what any political party worthy of support should be calling for.

As for robbing the poor and throwing more money into that financial black hole called the NHS, what it really needs is systemic reform, not more money. Get rid of the excessive layers of bureaucracy and administration and there’d be a lot more resources for front line services – where it counts.

Mind you, if you think I’m downplaying the ill effects of too much sugar consumption, I’m not. I’m currently co-authoring a heath guide on how to lower high blood pressure naturally without the aid of the NHS and their drugs. Too much sugar is a very bad for you, I know.

But if you really want to help people, educate them, don’t punish them. Run some informative ads for a week or two by Pobl Y Cwm and East Enders and you pretty much got the entire nation covered.

But at the end of the day, if people still want to damage their health by consuming too much sugar (or drinking, smoking and driving too much) – let them. People have a right to make bad decisions for themselves. It’s the very basis of a free society.

It seems Plaid Cymru is competing with Labour as to who can be the the biggest meddler in peoples lives with sanctimonious posturing.


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