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Keywords:

  • fat-tax;
  • poverty efficiency;
  • consumption dominance

ABSTRACT

To combat growing levels of obesity, health-related taxes have been suggested with taxes on foods high in fat or sugar. Such taxes have been criticised on the basis of their regressivity and potentially adverse impact upon poverty. This paper analyses the effect of such taxes on a range of poverty measures and also examines the effect of a revenue-neutral tax subsidy mixed with a tax on unhealthy food combined with a subsidy on more healthy food. Using Irish expenditure data, the results indicate that taxes on high fat/sugar goods on their own will be regressive but that a tax-subsidy combination can be broadly neutral with respect to poverty. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.