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March 29, 2023

New health law may introduce fast food and alcoholic beer tax

The Ministry of Health informed the new health law might introduce a tax on fast food and alcoholic ale, because the first is unhealthy and grows morbidity for specific illnesses and the other one is an alcoholic beverage. Minister Vasile Cepoi however noted that the new tax was included in the health law which was just a draft and that the approval of the proposal was going to be a political decision. ‘There is high morbidity for certain illnesses caused by unhealthy food and these products should be normally over-taxed in approval discourage consumption. Beer is an alcoholic beverage and therefore should be over-taxed like all other alcoholic drinks (the vice tax),’ the minister of health also said. Rime Minster Victor Ponta on the other hand said yesterday he was unaware of the initiative of the minister of health: ‘We will discuss it. I wasn’t aware of it,’ he said, according to HotNews.The introduction of a fast food tax was also considered in 2011 but, after a series of contradictory views, it was postponed with the argument that it would be very hard to implement. The Minister of Health at that time, Cseke Attila, was saying in April 2011 that the Ministry of Health had not had a project on that and that the idea of the fast food tax had come up during a press conference, suggested as a way of growing state budget revenue, more exactly to support national health programmes. Secretary of State Adrian Streinu-Cercel was also saying back then that the list of not recommended foods that might be subject of a special tax could include products with a high content of fats, hyper-concentrated sweets and carbonated beverages, with the exception of dairy products, meat, pizza, shaorma and mineral water. Industry organisations warned that the new tax might raise food prices by an average of 20 per cent while also leading to the lay-off of 36,000 workers accounting for 20 per cent of the human resource engaged in the local food industry.

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