Sunday 6 June, 2004
Here I am again. 11 am Sunday morning. Christian is at the discussion group and I am alone. I recited some Praises to Chenrezig to try and make myself feel a bit better. May all my wishes quickly be fulfilled.
Now I can play some Bowie – Heroes, on the MP3. Marvelous technology.
Today is fine. Sun shining and a slight breeze. No, now still.
Anne seems to be giving up on the idea of me going to Queensland for a visit. I am not allowed to bring Christian. So, just Anne, Ben and I. Will I go? What will I do there? I would like to see her, naturally.
Ronald Reagan passed away. He was ninety-three and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s. May he rest in peace.
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Blair may put ‘fat tax’ on menu
FAST food companies could be made to pay a ‘levy’ to fund new sports centres. Companies such as McDonald’s, Pepsi and Walkers would contribute three-quarters of the cost of a national sports fund to help tackle rising obesity levels.
The Government will pledge £1 for every £3 contributed by food firms to the National Foundation for Sport scheme.
The scheme comes four months after Prime Minister Tony Blair’s strategy unit admitted it was considering a ‘fat tax’ on less healthy foods, including burgers, crisps, fizzy drinks, butter and full-fat milk. The foods could attract extra duty or VAT.
The Number 10 strategy unit was ordered to ‘think the unthinkable’ after statistics showed heart disease overtaking cancer as Britain’s biggest killer.
Ministers are also worried about high levels of diabetes in young people, more and more of whom are becoming obese.
Foods which contain high levels of saturated fat are coming under attack in the latest moves – which could also see health warnings on all alcoholic drinks.
Full-fat butter and milk, cheddar cheese, burgers, chicken drumsticks, pizzas, pork pies, chips, chocolate, ice cream and popcorn could all be taxed.
At the moment, fizzy drinks, burgers and ice creams attract the full rate of VAT at 17.5% – but only if they are bought in restaurants. Food bought in supermarkets is not VAT rated.
The Government’s broad strategy was outlined late last year in Labour’s ‘big conversation’ policy blueprint – which warned of action against companies which target children with advertisements for junk food.
But the new proposals from the strategy unit – charged to come up with a range of ‘blue skies’ ideas by the Prime Minister – go even further.