RIGA - 10,000 people have signed a petition on the on the public petitions portal Manabalss.lv to demand a reduced value added tax on health food and increasing the VAT rate on junk food.
The signature drive, initiated by Janis Vanags, had continued for almost one-and-a-half years. The idea is that a reduction in VAT revenue caused by lower VAT on health food will be compensated for by higher VAT on unhealthy foods.
In Vanags' opinion, the VAT rate on health food should be reduced to 5 percent. This is the tax rate that should apply to fresh meat and fish, milk, kefir, curds, eggs, whole grain products, honey, as well as Latvia-grown vegetables, fruit and berries.
To compensate for a fall in VAT revenue, the petition proposes increasing VAT on products that one does not need on a daily basis, or ones that can be damaging to health if consumed in large quantities. The petition proposes a 31 percent VAT rate on sweetened beverages, energy drinks, sweet desserts, pastry, and all products with salt content over 1.25 grams per 100 grams of food. Food products that contain trans fats should be banned outright, believes Vanags.