Meat tax idea should be given the chop, say butchers

Calls for a 'meat tax' have been given the short-shrift by butchers in Shropshire, who warn that it could have the opposite effect of what was intended.

A report by experts at Oxford University says putting hefty taxes on processed meats could help save 6,000 lives a year in the UK.

But the butchers in the county have poured cold water on the claims, warning the extra cost could force people to switch to cheap, mass-produced meat which would be less healthy.

The study, carried out by the university's Nuffield Department of Population Health, said new taxes could also save the UK economy £700 million in healthcare costs.

Lead researcher Dr Marco Springmann suggested a tax rate of 79 per cent on processed meat, such as sausages and bacon, and 14 per cent on red meats such as beef and pork.

But Kay Badley, who runs G N Badley meats in Trench, believes such a tax would be totally unwarranted.

She said it was more important to be looking at the quality of the ingredients that went into food products in the first place.

"My fear is if they did this, people would start using cheaper cuts of meat, and having more things put in to make them taste good," said Mrs Badley.

"As far as we're concerned, we know where our stuff comes from, we use the best quality you can get.


"If people were encouraged to come to a good family butcher, they would be eating better quality food without all the e-numbers."

Mrs Badley said the important thing was that red and processed meats should form part of a balanced diet.

"Don't sit down and have a plate of sausages, but have a couple of sausages and vegetables."

Charlie Spencer, 28, is the owner of Keith Alderson butchers in Bridgnorth.


He said such a tax would have a devastating impact on the butchers trade, and could have the opposite effect of what was intended by driving people to switch to supermarket meat.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," said Mr Spencer, who recently bought the business off his former employer Keith Alderson.

"People have been eating meat for thousands of years.

"If you have a balanced diet of meat and vegetables you won't go far wrong, as long as you're eating quality assured meat."

He warned it was small businesses like his that would be particularly vulnerable.

"Butchers' shops are shutting like there's no tomorrow, it's being going on over the past 10 years."

The study found meat taxes could save an estimated 220,000 lives globally by 2020 and reduce healthcare costs by £30.7bn.

Consumption of red meat such as beef, lamb and pork has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

Scientists wanted to calculate the level of tax that would be required to make up for healthcare costs associated with eating meat in 149 regions around the world.

The likely impact of a meat tax on death rates due to chronic disease was also estimated.

Consumption of red and processed meat was likely to cause 2.4 million deaths per year by 2020 and cost the global economy £219 billion, said the report.

The amount of meat tax required to make it effective varied from country to country.

Date: 09 November 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

More Telford News

 MP's warning over Broseley's Broxit move

Broseley Town Council has been told it cannot choose to complete a "Broxit..

 Future Fit: A&E recommendation rubber stamped

Health officials have confirmed their choice of Royal Shrewsbury Hospital ..

 Row over key document in Shropshire's Future Fit discussions

A row has broken out over a key document in Shropshire's Future Fit discus..

 Four admit role in violent family fracas in Telford

The trial of seven men accused of leaving two people with serious injuries..

 Newport road closed after crash

A road was closed after a head-on crash between two cars in Newport.

 Dog walker reunites woman with her purse after it was stolen in Telford

A good-willed dog walker and kind-hearted member of police staff have help..
View More

More UK News

Brexit: Military reservists on standby in event of no deal

Trained civilians could be asked to do a year's service if the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal..

Warren Street baby: Student helps deliver newborn at Tube station

Hamzah Selim initially thought a fight had broken out when he heard women screaming and swearing

Prince Philip unhurt after car crash - palace

The Duke of Edinburgh has been involved in car crash but was not injured, Buckingham Palace says

Snow and ice cause Scotland travel disruption

Several roads are closed in the north east after ice and snow cause problems for drivers

Solo 45: Rape accused grime rapper 'not a monster'

Grime musician Andy Anokye "reasonably believed" the women had consented, his trial heard
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

Upcoming Events in Telford

19 Jan 2019

Saturday 19 January 7.30pm

Tickets £25

View Details

25 Jan 2019

Friday 25 January 7.30pm


View Details

31 Jan 2019

Thursday 31 January 7.30pm

Tickets £23

Concession £21.50

View Details

09 Feb 2019

Saturday 9 February 7.30pm

Adult: £26.50

Concessions: £23.50

View Details
View More