Photo: Flickr / Helga Weber
France’s Senate has approved a bill that would increase taxes on palm oil by 300 per cent, according to FranceTVInfo.They’re calling it the “Nutella amendment.” Nutella is more than a quarter palm oil.
The tax is designed to force agricultural producers to substitute that oil, which is quite fatty and whose production harms the environment, with something healthier.
But perhaps needless to say, the bill has not gone over well among the French.
In a blog post on Le Monde entitled “Get Your Hands Off My Nutella!”, correspondent Hélène Bekmezian says she also sees a ticky-tacky attempt at budget reduction at work — the Senate also raised taxes on beer, tobacco and energy drinks.
“Lacking the power — or the will — to enact comprehensive structural reforms of the social security regime, the majority government is instead scrounging around the back of the drawer for change to plug the budget hole,” she writes.
In fact, the president of te social affairs commission was herself against the measure, Bekmezian says. “We’re taxing the working class,” she quotes Communist senator Annie David as saying. “If palm oil is dangerous, then we should be banning it, not taxing it.”
Industry groups have also decried the measure. “We’re not the solution to the country’s economic problems,” said Jean-René Buisson, president of the National Association of Agricultural Industries.
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