New Soda Tax In France: Answer to Obesity and Debt Crisis?

Earlier this year, countries like Hungary and Denmark decided to apply new taxes to unhealthy foods. Now France is following suit by imposing a soda tax. Starting on January 1, 2012, the so-called “cola-tax” will be applied to all sugary soft drinks, including big global brands like Coca Cola and French brands like Orangina.

According to Agence France-Presse, the tax of around one Euro cent per can is expected to bring in tax revenues of 120 million Euros ($156 million). For a government that needs to find 100 million Euros in savings to balance its budget by 2016, taxing the sweet tooth of the French populace may seem like a great way to kill two birds with one stone — bring in more tax revenues and decrease obesity.

But will a one cent per can tax be enough to actually change the habits of the French? That remains to be seen. The small increase in price as a result of the tax may not be enough, but  industry sources predict a price increase of up to 35 percent when the tax is introduced.

Companies that produce sugary drinks have, of course, protested the introduction of the tax. In September, Coca-Cola announced that it would suspend its planned investment in a new plant in France in a “symbolic protest” against the planned tax. The company felt that it would punish their company and stigmatize its products.

Personally, I see the entire price of a can of soda and then some as a tax on both my wallet and my health. If I really want to give in to a sugary drink, then I have to pay that price. Most of the time, however, a glass of water wins out.

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Photo credit:Gullig on flickr

137 comments

W. C
W. C1 months ago

Thanks.

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William C
William C1 months ago

Thank you.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Natasha Salgado
Past Member 5 years ago

Definitely a bit of both. Good start though. I hope it works.

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Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog5 years ago

They need to have a much higher tax for people to notice...and care. But it's a start!

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Elena T.
Elena Poensgen5 years ago

Thank you

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federico bortoletto

Giustissimo. Di certo non eliminerà il problema ma forse ridurrà il consumo.

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Lucy H.
Lucy E6 years ago

Right on, Karen H! When will people here see that raising taxes only enriches the 1%? The way to combat obesity is to make healthy foods affordable. In this country, the next step is to rethink the work day. Hours are wasted commuting when telecommuting is a viable option.

I work from home at a high tech job. The time I spent commuting is now used exercising and cooking healthier meals. I've lost a great deal of weight since starting this job and have found more energy to join in community groups.

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Karen H.
Karen H6 years ago

I don't think the "cure" for obesity is another tax or another law. How about making foods that are good for us more affordable? Right now, it's cheaper to grab a fast food meal & a soda than to fix something more healthful.

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Malgorzata Zmuda
Malgorzata Z6 years ago

To nie przyczyni się do spadku sprzedaży, a tylko uderzy kupujących po kieszeni, trzeba szukać innego sposobu.

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