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TALKBACK: Readers not buying healthy lifestyle motive

Sherrylyn Toppin

TALKBACK: Readers not buying healthy lifestyle motive

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FROM AUGUST 1, local consumers will begin to feel the effect of a ten per cent tax on beverages that “contain added high-calorie sweeteners”.

According to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, the measure, announced in the 2015 Financial Statement And Budgetary Proposals, is aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles among the population.

It will be imposed on “carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks [and] fruit juices” with the sweeteners, but “100 per cent natural fruit juice, coconut water, plain milk [and] evaporated milk” will not be taxed.

It is expected to generate $10 million in revenue.

Online readers believe this is the real motive for the tax, rather than any real interest in promoting healthy lifestyles. Here are their views:

 Amanda Nurse: If he was so interested in health he would lower the cost of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods.

 David F. Cabral: Rather than increase taxation to “control consumption and promote a healthier lifestyle”, why don’t we make it mandatory for sweet drink manufacturers to reduce the amounts and types of sweeteners used in said sweet drinks?

 Bobby Gilkes: So they put a tax on sweet drinks. So when it deters people from buying and the manufacturer says, ‘Okay, we are not producing as much as we should, we have to let go workers’, then what?

 Paul Sivers: What will happen with the

workers who produce the sweet drinks? Will they be laid off?

 Afaf Nith Ma’at Hatap: Any excuse for this Government to find a reason to get the money they couldn’t get from the solid waste tax.

 Elaine Crichlow: Hope that they are thinking of a healthier Barbados.

 Michelle Joseph: This ten per cent has everything to do with $$$$, nothing to do with health. If they cared about our health they would stop taxing us to death . . . . Stress kills.

 Susan Banfield: You control the sale of unhealthy food by educating people on said things, not by raising taxes on them.

 Dave D. Small: If the Government wants people to eat healthily, why not reduce the price of fruit veggies and healthy stuff? This has nothing to do with healthy lifestyle, just a quick way to grab some more money.

 Stress Free: Drink water, much healthier.

 Christopher Macauley: Once they figure it out, they gonna tax the oxygen you breathe.

 Michele Brown: That doesn’t stop people from doing what they do, it just makes them mad. So now that you are taxing them, how about you roll that into educating people on diabetes, obesity and other sugar-related illnesses via the school system while they are young and follow through?