In January we had the fuzzy logic of the fizzy drinks tax to contend with here in France. And now, in November, we have the nutty Nutella Tax. The French Senate looks set to pass a law that will levy hefty additional taxes on palm oil, which is a major ingredient of everybody’s favorite chocolate-nutty spread.
The tax which is the brainchild (and I use the ‘brain’ part of that word loosely) of Socialist party Senator Yves Daudigny, is of course only being introduced For Our Own Good. Palm oil is reckoned to be rather unhealthy stuff, so instead of just going ahead and banning it, which a thoughtful government might do, ours plans to make money out of its citizens instead of thus protecting them. We can still eat the stuff but we have to pay extra since it can make us obese and clogs our arteries. There’s the optimistic hope that manufacturers will now substitute palm oil with something healthier, such as olive oil, in order to avoid the tax rather than taking the easy option of passing the increased price on to the consumer. This latter course of action will put 6 centimes on a big pot of choccy spread. The palm oil is currently taxed at slightly less than €100 a tonne and this will go up to €300. If the tax goes through the government will have an extra €40 million per year in its coffers. Pas mal !
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