Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The Government And The Meat Tax

The meat tax isn’t just against the principles of most Brits, it simply will not work

The idea of implementing a meat tax to protect people from themselves and improve the health of the nation is one of the most heavy handed and incompetent ideas mooted in recent memory. The list of problems with it are numerous, but two interlinked rejections of the policy are that it will act to reduce the quality of meat consumed, and hurt British farmers in the process.

People in this country with low incomes already struggle to put food on the table. Increasing the price of meat using a tax will hurt these people more than they currently are hurt, but not only this, it will force people into consuming meat of lower quality, with lower standards of animal rights and lesser quality inspection simultaneously. People could be forced to buy more factory meat instead of buying free range British meat products. The UK has some of the more strict standards for food safety and animal quality of life in the world, this has the impact of increasing the price of our meat. It is cheaper for us to buy products from overseas factory farms where the animals are treated far worse, and the quality of the product is lower than British farmed goods. Not only this, but for many families who are not capable of spending the time providing a balanced vegetable diet, it could lead to malnourishment in our children, as amounts of proteins and other vitamins consumed from meat would fall as it itself falls out of the reach of families who are living on the breadline in Britain.

The way the NHS functions is appalling in certain regards. Year on year it fails to hit deadlines, and waiting lists for major operations are ever increasing. Whilst we have a nationalised health service, where we as taxpayers pay in, the role of the NHS and the government should be focussing on improving the health of the nation. But this is not done by pushing more families into food poverty and artificially raising the price of a staple of the British diet. The NHS is not a national health service, but a national sick service, only treating people when they fall into illness, as opposed to preventing illness from occuring in the first place, and legislation like this, although well intentioned, will only act to exacerbate these problems. If the government wants to help people, it should look into cultural problems which cause overeating and obesity, and high carb and sugar diets that cause diabetes. The meat tax is an attempt to rid us of the symptoms of a far deeper sickness, and shows the lack of expertise prevalent in our current law making system. Like many of the two-dimensional policies adopted by this government, it would not be a big surprise if we saw this invention of insanity become a reality, and Britain would be worse off because of it.

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Steve Crook
Steve Crook
5 years ago

More animals will be stolen, slaughtered inhumanely and prepared in unhygienic conditions. More meat will be stolen from warehouses, mislabelled and sold when it is no-longer safe to eat.

So, not long after they introduce the tax, I expect health inspectors, trading standards and police calling for more money to be spent on dealing with the criminals involved in the burgeoning trade.

About the only real effect it will have will be to present a massive boost to organised crime that’s already doing nicely off the back of taxes on cigarettes and landfill…

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