There are many people who are a healthy weight, do regular exercise and generally have a healthy diet. These people like to enjoy the odd bottle of coke or bar of chocolate. And why shouldn’t they? Everyone deserves to treat themselves once in a while. Even the top athletes these days get to go wild and have a McDonalds every now and again. Why should these people be charged extra tax just because the government are attempting to stop unhealthy people buying them? Especially at a time when the country isn’t in a great economic state and as we all know, money doesn’t grow on trees. But everyone needs something small to treat themselves from time to time. I believe a tax like this would be highly unfair.
If we think about how much a bar of chocolate costs today; a regular bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk costs approximately eighty cents. The most expensive chocolate bars would cost in or around a euro. How much tax can really be put on a bar of chocolate? Even with a 100% tax a chocolate bar would cost no more than €2. Now consider a drug addict, even if their dealer puts up the price, they are still going to want their fix. A chocoholic is effectively the same scenario. Is a euro or so extra on a bar of chocolate really going to stop a chocoholic from buying their favourite bar on a regular basis? I highly doubt it.
Now if we consider the price of a 500ml bottle of coke, on average it would cost about €3 in a pub. Add a tax on top of that and it could be round €4 or more. Also, the price of a pint of beer is about €4. It would work out that a glass of coke could cost more than a pint of beer. In a country where we’re trying to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed and trying to prevent drink-driving, and where money is tight for everyone; it really isn’t a good idea to be cheaper to spend a night drinking alcohol rather than soft drinks. This sort of government taxing would not do the country any good, either economically or morally.
I hope these arguments have shown how it would be completely detrimental to the society in Ireland in which we live to introduce higher taxes on soft drinks and junk food.