Local politicians here in Denmark, have reached the conclusion that a large percentage of the population is in danger of dying prematurely from unhealthy lifestyle. Statistics and predictions say, that in 10 years, every 6th danish resident will be heavily overweight. So they feel compelled to do something. And the solution?
Well - they plan to up the prices on unhealthy groceries, alcohol, cigarettes, junk-food and whatever is a threat to the public health. And that's pretty much their best solution.
Now I'm fairly certain, that studies from other western countries show, that people of lower social status are the ones more likely to catch a unhealthy-living-related illness. They eat unhealthy because manufactured/processed foods are still the cheapest and thus the "better" option for people with a low income. If this is in fact the same situation in Denmark, aren't our local politicians just punishing those people? Why not offer an alternative? I have no problem with raising the prices on certain goods - but as it is now, it just sounds like a poor excuse to drag more money out of the public and in to the state/commune treasure chest. Furthermore - if prices are raised it will once again become attractive to smuggle or to simply go to Germany and eastern europe to get those goods at a much lower price, thus crippling the danish commerce even more than it already is, during the current financial crisis.
I'm shocked (well not really) by the lack of vision and creativity among danish politicians.
Wouldn't it be better to use the raises on unhealthy goods to lower the prices on healthy goods, which ARE quite expensive as it is, and not really an option for many people of lower social status? What about cheaper fitness memberships? 450,- dkkr a month per person is not really an option for many people. How about a bonus of some kind to companies who take out 30 minutes a day to activate employees? Or hire a cook to make proper food for the staff?
- I really hope they come up with something a little more solid, because this is just stupid.