Bulgaria Introduces Huge Tax on ‘Junk Food’
- New Europe Investor
- October 24, 2015
Bulgaria’s Health Minister, Peter Moskov, has detailed what he calls a public health tax on a variety of junk food.
The new tax would put a variety of foods that contain high levels of salts, sugar, caffeine on different tax bands that in some cases will be as high as 78%. Items such as pasta and pastry will also see an increase in price in the new system.
The money raised from the tax will be used to fund a variety of projects in education, sports and healthcare.
The minister said the aim of the taxes was to encourage Bulgarians to eat more healthily, and to use the money collected to directly improve the eating habits of the countries children, through for example, subsidising healthy school meals.
The tax has not been without its criticism. A representative of the country’s food industry was quoted as saying ‘The tax will lead to the plundering of the Bulgarians by drastically raising prices without a health outcome. Bulgarians have the lowest calorie intake and one of the lowest body mass indexes in the EU. All studies show that the problems of overweight people, including children, are a result of an inactive lifestyle and not a single scientific study proves the existence of a link between the consumption of certain foods and overall health.’
The food industry in Bulgaria claim that the effect will be greatest to small and medium sized companies, and will shed as many as 4,000 jobs following its introduction.