Bottled water (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Marie-Lan Nguyen) - Credit: Bottled water (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Marie-Lan Nguyen)
Health groups: Tax on bottled water stops consumers from good choices
Ten health organizations have written an urgent letter to the cabinet asking them not to increase the tax on bottled water. According to them, this tax increase is directly opposed to the Ministry of Public Health's prevention policy of making the healthy choice the easy choice. Shortly before Prinsjesdag budget information leaked revealing that the government is increasing tax on bottled water to the same level as the tax on soft drinks. This would bring in an extra 8 million euros in tax revenues a year. These ten health organizations think that this is a very bad idea. "Water is the healthiest drink there is. Tap water is fortunately easily and cheaply available. But in places where tap water is not available, or when consumers choose another option, bottled water must be the most attractive alternative. In these places bottled water has the priority over other beverages", Hanneke Dessing, director of the Diabetes Fund, writes on behalf of the organizations. "The proposed increase in the consumption tax on bottled water, which contributes 'only' €8m to the stat budget, is contrary to Public Health's policy and the desire of many health organizations to make the healthy choice the easy choice. We ask you to speak out against the increase in the consumption tax on bottled water and we are obviously willing to engage in further consultation." The letter is signed by the Diabetes Foundation, Alzheimer Nederland, the Heart foundation, KWF, JOGG, the NPHF, Kidney Foundation, Rheumatism Foundation, the Cooperative Health Fund and the World Cancer Research Fund.