Downing Street puts squeeze on 'fat tax'
Downing Street has been forced to deny it is planning a 'fat tax' to combat growing levels of obesity in the UK, after a national newspaper reported seeing proposals by a government unit on the subject.
The Times said it had seen a document from the prime minister’s strategy unit proposing a levy on products such as burgers, crisps, fizzy drinks, butter and whole milk.
Downing Street hit back against the story, saying the proposals had been contained in a ‘minor’ discussion document and had not been put forward to Tony Blair.
Suggestions in the paper are said to include a new tax on fatty foods or the extension of VAT charged on them to the full 17.5%. The Times said the news had led to a new buzzword in Westminster, where the proposed levy has been dubbed ‘FAT’.