WHO Proposes Global Tax Increase on Unhealthy Beverages

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by Martin Armstrong, Armstrong Economics:

Permitting health agencies to dictate what we can and cannot do is a slippery slope. These health agencies, such as the World Health Organization, work on behalf of their donors who support lobbying interests. For example, numerous health agencies began telling people to consume less meat after the plans for the Great Reset were formulated. Now, the WHO believes governments globally should place a higher tax on sugary and alcoholic beverages.

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There is no denying that alcohol is dangerous. The WHO estimates that 2.6 million people worldwide die from ethanol each year. The pandemic that the WHO also supported increased alcohol usage and deaths involving alcohol spiked over 25% from 2019 to 2020. In fact, alcohol killed more young people than COVID itself. However, government agencies do not need to parent the taxpayers. Prohibition failed miserably, and prohibiting or increasing taxes on a product will not decrease demand. Additionally, the WHO wants to impose these tax rules worldwide. Wine is a staple in many European diets and a number of countries do not tax the beverage at all. The WHO wants that to change.

“Taxing unhealthy products creates healthier populations. It has a positive ripple effect across society, less disease and debilitation and revenue for governments to provide public services,” said Rüdiger Krech, the WHO’s health promotion director. “In the case of alcohol, taxes also help prevent violence and road traffic injuries.”

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Only 108 of the 194 member states have implemented a tax on sugary beverages. The WHO believes 8 million deaths per year could be saved if people ate healthier diets. SSB (sugar-sweetened beverage) taxes account for “just 6.6% the price of soda.” The WHO does not state how high the tax should be on these products but believes higher taxation should be universally adopted.

The agency admits that poor people will be unfairly targeted by these taxes as they typically choose the cheapest option available. The average tax on beer is 17.2% and 26.5% for spirits. “A pressing concern is that alcoholic beverages have, over time, consistently become more affordable,” WHO Assistant Director-General Ailan Li said. “But increasing affordability can be curbed using well-designed alcohol tax and pricing policies.” Why not look at past RECENT examples to see the consequences?

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