MyChoice Australia is proud to be part of an international coalition of 22 organisations to combat new international taxes.
A movement to increase lifestyle taxes is very concerning to us: not only do lifestyle taxes hurt the poor most, but these are deeply immoral and controlling attempts by governments to erode our right to “nudge” the behaviour of citizens away from what they evidently want to do.
The letter notes:
There have been attempts by the EU and by the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish uniform excise taxes on products such as sugary drinks, tobacco, and alcohol. This would represent a dangerous precedent, and such excise taxes could be easily extended to all other consumer products.
A 2011 UN report suggests that “states impose taxes on soft drinks (sodas) and on foods high in saturated fats, trans fatty acids, sodium and sugar, in order to subsidize access to fruits and vegetables and educational campaigns on healthy diets.”
In 2012, the WHO proposed to raise certain excise taxes by $.05, $.03 or $.01 depending on the wealth of the country where the products were sold. The proposal, which aimed to raise more money for international causes, was defeated after farmers and taxpayer groups spoke out against the proposal. WHO will meet in Russia in October 2014 to again discuss raising excise taxes.
A 2014 UN report suggested that excise taxes can be punitively deployed in the name of public safety.
You can read the full open letter here: International Coalition Letter on International Taxes