Health Minister Wants Obese People to Pay More Tax

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It was reported yesterday that Caroline Flint, the public health minister, wants us to build physical activity into our lives in a bid to keep adult obesity in check. “This is a very laudable idea” said a spokesman for EnergiseYourLife.com, “but what about the people who want to put this into practice - they can end up paying a vast amount of extra tax. So where’s the incentive?”

It was reported yesterday that Caroline Flint, the public health minister, wants us to build physical activity into our lives in a bid to keep adult obesity in check. “This is a very laudable idea” said a spokesman for EnergiseYourLife.com, “but what about the people who want to put this into practice - they can end up paying a vast amount of extra tax. So where’s the incentive?”

If people start exercising more, the treasury will receive more tax due to the fact that fitness equipment, juicers, blenders, sprouters and other health-related equipment attract VAT at the rate of 17.5%. So someone buying a juicer for £229 and a rebounder for £99 would end up having to pay almost £50 in VAT. That’s £50 straight to the treasury when someone decides to take the health minister’s advice and do something about their health and fitness.

If the government is trying to reduce obesity and get people interested in fitness, the VAT element on these products is likely to act as a disincentive. People would likely be more motivated if they didn’t have to pay this extra tax.

There’s been talk in the past of taxing fatty and sugary foods, but an alternative, and some would say, better approach, would be to remove the VAT element from health-related products. The carrot often works better than the stick!

According to the EnergiseYourLife.com spokesman, customers often want to buy health-promoting products, but just can’t afford them. Removing VAT would go a long way to helping these people.

There’s no need for the government to fear this loss of VAT as it would easily save much more in reduced NHS spending, due to people needing less medical attention. But when did the government manage to view anything with just a little common sense?

http://www.EnergiseYourLife.com
enquiries @ energiseyourlife.com

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Manfred Techentin
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