NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Health Minister Dr Duane Sands yesterday said a proposed consumption tax on the fast-food industry is unlikely in the near future.
However, Sands noted the Ministry of Health will engage in an “aggressive educational campaign”.
The introduction of a consumption tax on the fast food industry was among the recommendations in last year’s National Breadbasket Review Forum Report.
Sands said: “We have made it very clear, the DPM and Ministry of Finance has made it quite clear there will be no new taxes in this fiscal year.
“We will have the discussion again next year and I suspect that the position of this government will remain the same but we will engage in a very aggressive educational campaign.
“We have started the ban of sugary sweetened beverages in schools, hospitals or clinics and healthcare facilities. We would like the public to pay close attention to what they are consuming,” said Sands.
He continued: “We have an unacceptable rate of non-communicable diseases. We have hundreds of people with diabetes, hypertension, strokes and heart attacks. We cannot afford business as usual.
“You are what you eat or drink. To consume a lot of empty calories from childhood to adulthood is not a great idea.”