Chocolate tax: doctors don't bite

Scottish GPs have voted against a tax on chocolate, which was proposed to help fight obesity.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

The plan, which suggested hitting chocolate lovers with a tax similar to those which infuriate smokers and drinkers, was proposed by Dr David Walker, a Lanarkshire GP. He believes chocolate had lost its status as a treat, and become a harmful addiction for some.

He may have a point, not least in its contribution to conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure, but surely a sweeping tax on one of life's simpler, less harmful pleasures would be the wrong thing to introduce at a time like this. The last thing the nation's embattled workers need right now is to have to dig out the calculator before committing to that little three o'clock lift.

It seems Walker's peers share that view. Doctors at a BMA conference in Clydebank defeated his motion by two votes.

While such a tax is never really likely to be applied, chocolate makers will nevertheless be happy if the notion now disappears as swiftly and easily as a packet of After Eights on Christmas day. With the economy the way it is, the likes of Scotland's own Tunnock's would hardly welcome the onset of punitive taxes with shouts of ‘bring it on'. Indeed, such laws are likely to induce more heart trouble across confectionary boardrooms than any amount of mid-meeting Minstrels.

We don't mean to dismiss the issue of obesity, which is of course a huge issue. But we can't help thinking there are other more important factors involved. With a decent diet and plenty of exercise, the odd chocolate really isn't going to do you much harm. Now, where's that celery...

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

The art of leadership: From Marcus Aurelius to Martin Luther King

Transformational, visionary, servant… enough is enough.

Lockdown stress: 12 leaders share practical coping tips

In hard times, it's far too easy for the boss to forget to look after...

Don’t just complain about uncertainty, find the tools to navigate it

Traditional in-person research methods won’t work right now, but that’s no excuse for a wait-and-see...

How well have CEOs performed during the coronavirus pandemic?

A new survey offers a glimpse into what their staff think.

Why women leaders are excelling during the coronavirus pandemic

There is a link between female leaders and successful responses to COVID-19.

Why your employees don’t speak up

Research: Half of workers don’t feel comfortable to express concerns - and it’s usually because...