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No plans for "hamburger tax" but govt considering "public health product fee"

Hungary's State Secretariat for Health Affairs is not preparing a government proposal for a "hamburger tax" but it is considering the introduction of a "public health product fee", the National Resources Ministry said on Thursday.

The National Resources Ministry's State Secretariat for Health Affairs is seeking alternative resources to put into the health care system and "one such possibility is a public health product fee", the statement said. As such a product fee is a type of tax, introducing it is in the competence of the National Economy Ministry, it added.

"The details of introducing the product fee are being worked out by several groups of experts," the ministry said. "The goal is not to make staples more expensive, but to reduce the consumption of foods that are harmful to health in Hungary, which faces a public health catastrophe," it added.