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Hungary: Hamburger Tax Under Consideration

(Mar. 17, 2011) Matolcsy added that the specifics of which products would be taxed and how the revenue so raised would be used have not yet been determined. (Id.) It was reported in February, however, that the tax might apply to sodas, coffee, and sweets, as well as fast-food meals (Veronika Gulyas, Hungary to Tax Hamburgers, Soda, NEW EUROPE [a WALL STREET JOURNAL blog] (Feb. 28, 2011).)

The possible tax has been controversial. Speaking in favor of it, Viktor Orban, Hungary's Prime Minister, stated that “those who live unhealthily have to contribute more to support the [health] system,” while on the other side, the food producers' associations argue that they should be consulted before any tax is imposed, since it may affect the food processing industry. (Id.)

The measure is one of a number of proposals being reviewed as methods of reducing the country's deficit. It was not a part of the budget recently proposed by Matolcsy. (Andras Gergely, Hungary Mulls “Hamburger Tax” to Cut Fat Intake, Matolcsy Says, BLOOMBERG (Mar. 11, 2011).)