Denmark is scrapping its tax on foods that are high in saturated fat as it appears that people are travelling across the border to Germany in search of unhealthy snacks at a much lower cost. The tax, believed to be the world’s first ‘fat tax, was introduced in October 2011 in an attempt to limit the population’s intake of fatty foods and, of course, raise revenue.
Foods containing more than 2.3% saturated fat were subject to the surcharge, including dairy produce, meat and processed foods. The government now has to find a new tax to compensate for the loss of revenue it will suffer.
The Danish authorities have now admitted that the tax has had adverse effects on the economy, inflating food charges and putting Danish jobs at risk. The Danish Food Workers Union recently stated that the levy had led to a loss of 1,300 retail and manufacturing jobs.
The ministry also announced that it is cancelling its plans to introduce a tax on sugar.
According to the Danish National Health and Medicines Authority, 47% of Danes are overweight and 13% are obese.
The UK and Israel are two countries said still to be considering introducing a so-called ‘fat tax’.