The Netherlands: wide political consensus against sugar tax

A broad consensus against the introduction of a sugar tax in the Netherlands has emerged from parties across the political spectrum.

Asked about their position on the issue following the debate in the UK, some Dutch politicians expressed opposition to changing citizens’ behavior through taxation: “People should decide for themselves what they eat and drink“, said Erik Ziengs, from the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). A view shared also by Reinette Klever, Member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the Party for Freedom (PVV), according to whom a sugar tax would be “patronizing“. Others, like Hanke Bruins Slot of the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal), stressed that Sugar is a natural product”.

The Socialist Party, which is working towards less sugar and salt in products, has ruled out taxation as an effective measure, preferring instead to push manufacturers to use less sugar and salt.

More strikingly, even parties in favour of a sugar tax like the Labour Party (PvdA) do not have a clear proposal on how to make it technically feasible. “It would mean a lot of hassle”, admitted Ed Groot, Member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the PvdA.

The full article (in Dutch) can be found at:

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