Sunday 26 January 2020

Fat chance

• How the humble beer belly must feel this morning. The belly that has, on occasions, led this great little nation, has been ignored. The beer belly is not considered fat, hence no fat tax of 10pc.

Neither is the greasy burger, curry chips, battered cod, bag of crisps or flying pizza which have contributed handsomely to getting most of us up to and into XXXL sizes – thus ensuring on-going profits for the clothing industry.

Instead the fizzy or soft drink attracts the fat tax as if it's the source of all fat.

Or is it because kids drink it by the bucketfull and it's an easy target? If the proposed tax was purely a fat tax then the above named would also attract the duty. Funnily enough, while soft drinks and road tolls attract VAT at 23pc, the betting and gambling industry seem protected in a duty-free zone.

The head of the GAA players' union recently stated that gambling was a huge concern among young players. As shops close in towns across the nation they are replaced by bookies' offices which simply gobble up whatever discretionary and, in many cases, badly needed cash, tax and duty free they can. Why? Who has the inside track with Government there?

If the Government really was concerned about fat then it would tax all fat foods. If the Government was really interested about levelling and then broadening the tax base it would take on the gambling industry and their powerful lobby.

John Cuffe
Dunboyne, Meath

Irish Independent

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