Hungary might introduce tax on unhealthy products

The government has decided, and if the parliament also votes in favour, the “Hamburger tax” may arrive in September, Hungarian TV2 reports.  This tax has a focus on sodas, potato chips, sweets and energy beverages.  Companies selling these products in Hungary will have to pay more tax.  The government’s spokesman said that the list is not yet complete.

The government decided today on a tax on unhealthy food, and drinks, including snacks such as potato chips and sweets, but also baged soups.  The tax has been coined as the “Hamburger tax” amoung people, while it’s official name is “Public health product fee”.  Anna Nagy, spokeswoman for the government says that as of 1st of September grocery products who’s consuming is proven to have an unhealthy impact on people’s health and bring with them a health risk.
Products with high content of sugar, salt, carbon dioxide and caffeine would be charged with an extra tax.

The government says that the list may be extended, but an overview might look like this:

Soft drinks    10 HUF/Liter

Energy drinks    300 HUF /Liter

Wrapped sweets    200 HUF /Kg

Ice Cream    100 HUF /Kg

Salt Snacks     400 HUF /Kg

Food Powder    500 HUF /Kg

Bagged powders for preparing meals are the ones that seem to get the most tax, while also chips and energy drinks will have a significant tax to it.

Péter Boros, Manager at CO-OP Hungary says that the prices of these mentioned products will increase since the added tax will not be included in the current prices of the products.  Saying further that they expect this price increase to further lower the demand for products in an alreadt tight market.

Original plans included taxing fast food as well as products added preservatives, while the government has not yet decided on this matter.

The only other country in Europe that has a similiar tax, on products containing sugar, is Denmark.