Health Min. suggests “poison tax” for Chemours, Tata Steel, Philip Morris
The “polluter pays” principle should also apply to public health, thinks Health Minister Ernst Kuipers (D66). In his Elst Borst lecture on scarcity in healthcare, he suggested a poison tax for companies like Chemours, Tata Steel, and Philip Morris, AD reports.
“Why do the polluters of our public health not help pay for the damage they do? Philip Moris, Chemours, Tata Steel, they have been spreading toxic substances among our population for decades. The cancer atlas shows us what the consequences are,” Kuipers said in the lecture, suggesting that these companies pay more taxes.
He also talked about food manufacturers who “know very well that their products are unhealthy,” mentioning McDonald’s, Haribo, and Coca-Cola by name. “As far as I’m concerned, all these companies should pay more taxes than they do now.”
In an interview with AD, Kuipers said that “you have to think outside of the box” when it comes to finding solutions to the scarcity in healthcare. “One part is prevention, which means that less care is needed. Then, you could consider imposing taxes on companies that market very unhealthy products in order to encourage healthier products. And about the toxins: people are getting sick unnecessarily. It seems only fair that the companies that have contributed to creating higher healthcare costs also contribute to paying for them.”
He stressed that this is “a vision for the future” and that he doesn’t have a legislative proposal ready to go. “You must encourage producers to make healthy products and to work safely and healthily. That is why I compared it with the motto: the polluter pays.”