The New Danegeld

It seems the Danes are set to pay the new Danegeld.

In a country known for butter and bacon, Denmark’s new tax is a body blow. Danes who go shopping today will pay an extra 25p on a pack of butter and 8p on a packet of crisps, as the new tax on foods which contain more than 2.3% saturated fat comes into effect. Everything from milk to oils, meats and pre-cooked foods such as pizzas will be targeted. The additional revenue raised will fund obesity-fighting measures.

All of which is rather odd for two reasons. One, the Danes aren’t obese –  it is estimated that fewer than 10% of Danes are, so they really don’t have a problem requiring any action at all, yet their government is smashing away at it with a club-hammer regardless. The second is, well, the Danes:

Buch Jensen, for one, is not planning to change his eating habits. Asked if he would be giving up butter, he offered a compromise: “I would fry cabbage in butter, and add a little more butter at the end. That way at least I’m getting my vegetables.”

I think I like Buch Jensen’s style. Going by comments earlier in the Guardian’s article, Buch Jensen is far from alone in taking a somewhat cynical approach to all of this. So, no problem to start with and an eschewing of the solution by the population and what do we have? Tax raising by the back door.

Naturally, the vested interests are pushing for this to come over here. Well, they would, wouldn’t they? It’s a win-win situation for them. If it really does reduce fat consumption, they claim a victory. If it produces a Dane effect, well, they get more in the coffers to piss up the wall on the latest project. What’s not to like?

However, those vested interests are already at each others’ throats. They can’t make their minds up about what should be taxed first; transfats, carbohydrates, sugar –  which is a carbohydrate, but I’m not sure the Groan realises this –  and, of course, good old salt, the great Satan of the dinner table.

Which is worse, eh? there’s only one way to find out…

7 comments for “The New Danegeld

  1. Steve W
    October 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm


    I draw issue with the Danegeld analogy though, the Danegeld was paid so that the pesky Vikings would leave us alone, this tax is being paid to actively fund the hectoring bastards.

    • October 5, 2011 at 5:27 am

      Good point!

  2. IanPJ
    October 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I think I rather like Buch Jensen’s style as well. I’ve been practicing getting my 5 a day just right.
    I think Peach Brandy, Parsnip Wine, Potato Vodka, Cointreau and Fruit Cake makes a good start.

  3. October 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    As in Denmark I don’t know where all these ‘obese’ people are. Certainly not in my town unless they stay indoors scoffing all day.

    Correction. I do see a small number of hugely obese circular people, incapable of breeding hopefully, who might skew the statistics.

  4. October 5, 2011 at 1:32 am

    From Cameron’s comments it seems like we may end up paying it too – he likes the idea! From experience so far what he likes or dislikes has more importance than what we voters might want, or not want, or even have been promised.

  5. October 5, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I suppose one way round it is to keep our own pigs – although we already do that don’t we?

  6. October 5, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Again and again, we come back to the motto: Age res proprias tuas!

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