Sources tell Guido that Henry Dimbleby’s new “National Food Strategy” – an upcoming review commissioned by the government to investigate ways of reducing the “damage” of our food system – will argue that the UK has become trapped in a “junk food cycle“, and that breaking out of it requires implementing (as rumoured) a £3 per kg tax on sugar and a £6 per kg tax on salt. Apparently, the tax is part of our duty to “protect the NHS“; all pretty rich from the man who co-founded the Leon fast food chain. Although Leon does market itself as “natural”, so maybe they’re above reproach – it’d still add about 20p to the cost of their meatballs, though…
The news comes on the same day that the government appears to have smuggled in a clause to the Health and Care Bill which allows the Health Secretary to unilaterally decide what constitutes “less healthy food” in respect to online and TV advertising:
“For the purposes of the Bill, a food or drink product is ‘less healthy’ if it falls within a description specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State, and it is ‘less healthy’ in accordance with the relevant guidance.”
Guido’s said it before: nannying plans like these are a waste of time. They won’t cut obesity, and they won’t ‘protect’ the NHS. All they’ll do is hurt small businesses and leave a dent in people’s wallets.