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Place taxes on junk food, says government official

Feb 05, 2014
From wire reports, VILNIUS

A Lithuanian official has proposed plans to place taxes on unhealthy foods including soft drinks and crisps in an effort to compensate pensions.

Member of Parliament Kestutis Masiulis believes taxes on junk food could replace taxes on vehicles.

"In ten years, the consumption of lemonade in Lithuania increased from 117 to 217 million liters per year. Every year we eat about 40 million packets of chips, while 5.5 million liters of energy drinks are consumed, of which 68 percent are drunk by teenagers.

"According to doctors, consumption of these products encourages obesity, diabetes, dental caries, loss of bone, high blood pressure and many other diseases. By increasing prices for unhealthy food, we would reduce its consumption, and this would have positive impact on people's health. In addition, from income received we could fund health and social services as well as compensate pensions," said Masiulis.

According to the MP, taxing unhealthy food is usual global practice and it would be possible to collect approximately 71 million litas (21 million euros) of income from excise tax.

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