Who will this affect?
The rise in VAT will affect any VAT-registered business that purchases or sells goods or services that are currently subjected to the current standard rate of VAT.
What will not be affected by the VAT rise?
Most foodstuffs, children’s clothing and books will remain zero-rated. Reduced rates will remain on items such as fuel and power supplies and children’s car seats.
What is the aim of the VAT increase?
To help the UK’s current economy, tackle the deficit and raise £13bn.
Will spending increase?
The Labour leader Ed Miliband has said the average family will have to find an extra £7.50 “each and every week”, resulting in an extra £389 a year.
What is the prediction for 2011?
The BBC have predicted retail sales will fall by about £2.2 billion in the first four months of the year.
The VAT increase has been discussed continuously over the last few months by various political leaders and therefore the public planned ahead. Individuals spent the majority of their ‘Christmas spending money’ over the month of December and personally I have resisted the January sales. To help save money and spend wisely see a previous blog post offering advice on how to look fashionable and not spend a penny or how to provide high entertainment at low costs.
The government is considering taxing fatty foods in order to reduce obesity. The BBC emphasise the increase of obese people in the last twenty years and that our country can not ignore this warning. A fatty good tax, is a (needed) wake up call and signal to society that change needs to happen, and soon. As quoted from the BBC article :
“Would putting up the price of junk food – with its high sugar and fat content – cut these rising obesity rates in the same way as a tax on cigarettes – vigorously contested by the tobacco industry at the time – has helped reduce smoking?”
Last night, Panorama aired a documentary, ‘Fat Tax’, with reporter Shelley Jofre, discussing the tax being enforced and the positive effects. As discussed by Private Healthcare the programme did not offer a new or fresh angle to obesity, however, it was informative but not necessarily inspiring for all viewers.
I think it is important to address the issue of obesity but there are a lot of unanswered questions with this approach. Who would decide what is ‘fatty food’ exactly? In order for effective taxing on ‘fatty foods’ the public and governing body would need to define what is ‘fatty food’. This term has been used continuously and repeatedly by media organisations and I for one feel it has lost a lot of value, content and effect. In a supermarket you may have heard something along these lines, “Oh no I am not eating that. That’s junk food. Yuk. It’s fatty food”. I feel there is a need to remind and update the meaning behind the phrase of ‘fatty food’ in order for us to progress as a healthy eating nation.
I feel this tax is forgetting a key aspect in battling obesity. Yes you guessed correctly. Exercise. We need to promote and encourage physical exercise in our lives and different lifestyles. Whether it is half an hours yoga in a morning, to participating in a particular sport, jogging every couple of nights, joining a club or society or attending a dance class. There needs to be more focus on media hype and publicity on the positive aspects on combatting obesity. Surely, a positive approach to such a negatively discussed issue would motivate people?
So don’t starve me of information now, as I need to know, would you pay a little bit extra for that one slice of chocolate cake? So rich, dark and velvety that simple melts on your tongue. A moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips. And also on the bank debt. Or would you (as they hope), seek a healthier alternative and a quick fix to a ‘better’ body?
See the full Panorama ‘Tax the Fat’ programme