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Last year’s December Newsletter already highlighted how the mood in Britain on sugar taxation is changing. Will Europe follow suit?
Recently the UK National Health Service (NHS) decided to single-handedly implement a sugar tax in its hospitals. By 2020, as the various food catering contracts are renewed, all facilities should have a levy on sugary products in place, or have removed them from public spaces altogether.
On 20 January, Food Standards Scotland accepted a number of (...)
Taxes are effective tools to curb the global tobacco epidemic. This is the core message of the World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 report on tobacco launched this month. Tobacco-related diseases claim more lives than HIV-AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
In its recent report, the WHO welcomes commitments and efforts made in the field of tobacco control around the world. More than half of the world’s countries, covering 40% of the world’s population, have established at (...)
Brussels, 9 February 2015 – The European Commission opened last week an investigation looking into whether application of a tax on some high-fat foods by the Danish government between October 2011 until January 2013 involved illegal state aid.
Analysis of the impact of the tax, levied on high fat foodstuffs, meat, dairy products and oils, found it to be an effective measure to achieve public health benefits. The tax (which was abandoned without a proper evaluation) enhanced (...)
On 5 September 2014, following the EPHA Annual Conference, the seminar on Scotland’s innovative Alcohol Policies successfully brought together representatives from Scottish health professionals with around 80 European colleagues and industry representatives to discuss the minimum unit pricing (MUP). This event highlighted the fact that different stakeholders are urging EU Member States and the European Commission to support the Scottish policy on alcohol. MUP is opposed by a (...)
On 10 September 2014 President-elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced his nomination of Pierre Moscovici to the post of Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs. Mr Moscovici is a former Minister of Finance and Economy, as well as of European Affairs, and has previously served as a Vice-President of the European Parliament. He ran President François Hollande’s campaign for office in 2012 and was an integral part of the Hollande (...)
In 2012 the Scottish Government passed legislation to introduce a Minimum Unit Price (MUP) to tackle the problems caused by cheap alcohol. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and other European wine and spirits producers took action against the proposal claiming that it breaches the UK’s European Union (EU) treaty obligations. Since there is a growing body of evidence which shows that price increases can have a substantial impact on reducing consumption, and consequently on (...)
In the framework of the activities of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, DG Enterprise and Industry commissioned a study on ’Food taxes and their impact on competitiveness in the agri-food sector’. The study concluded that "Non-harmonised taxes on high sugar, salt and fat products such as soft drinks, sweet and salty foodstuffs do induce a reduction in the consumption of the taxed products, but the exact impact on the competitiveness of the European (...)
The European Commission (Directorate General of Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD)) published on its website a draft study on the measuring and reducing of administrative costs for economic operators and tax authorities and obtaining, in parallel, a higher level of compliance and security in imposing excise duties on tobacco products (RAMBOLL report). EPHA takes the opportunity to put forward recommendations on tobacco taxation.
Tobacco in a few figures
700,000 deaths per year ,
In March 2014 the French Senate published a report ’Taxation and Public Health: evaluation of behavioural taxation’ to back up a proposal to introduce a ’junk food tax’ on products associated with increased non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The main objective of the proposed tax would be to counteract poor dietary habits and to compensate for the public health costs linked to the consumption of junk food - currently hugely overlooked from any public debate around the (...)
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) joins its member organisation Eurocare -the international NGO that represents NGOs on Alcohol Policy across the EU- to contribute initial ideas as the new EU Action Plan begins to be drafted. EPHA members and partners commit to actively participating in the consultation process in developing the final version of the plan and outline priorities areas.
EPHA and Eurocare argue that the new EU Action Plan needs to complement the WHO “European (...)