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Hamburger tax is in the making

Hungary's economic ministry will progress in its drafting and development of a tax on unhealthy food items, the Natural Resources Ministry announced. The tax is however, not to be considered a “hamburger tax”, but rather a “health product fee”, it added.

Potentially, annual revenue from the surcharge could range from 45.7 billion HUF to 386 billion HUF, in which the resources ministry stated that it is looking for different ways to finance health workers and doctors' salaries. Doctors have been moving to other parts of Europe to receive higher pay for their services.

The surcharge on food containing high levels of calories, fats and/or carbohydrates is aiming to encourage the purchase of healthier foods, but not basic food items. The resources ministry was quoted referring to Hungary's population as, “facing a public health catastrophe.”

Dietitians quoted by business daily Világgazdaság noted there's no such thing as unhealthy food, only unhealthy diets and lifestyle.