BRITS are forced to pay some of the highest “sin taxes” in Europe, a report warns today.
Smokers are hit by the most expensive duty on tobacco across the Continent, while drinkers have to pay the second-highest rates on wine and beer.
Getty – Contributor Smokers in the UK are hit with the highest tax
Overall the UK is ranked fourth-worst country out of 28 in the Nanny State Index compiled by think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Its experts claim there is no proof that tough laws on tobacco, alcohol and sugar make Britain a healthier place, however.
Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the IEA, said: “We can’t blame the EU for any of the nanny state measures introduced in the last two years.
The huge gap between the most liberal and least free countries is the result of national politicians choosing to treat their citizens like children.
“Our analysis shows no association between nanny state policies and better health outcomes. The war on fun is all pain and no gain.”
The report says the UK Government takes a “highly paternalistic” approach to regulating food, soft drinks, tobacco and alcohol.
Scotland introduced minimum pricing for booze last year and Wales is set to follow.
A UK-wide tax on sugary drinks was introduced last year and junk food cannot even be advertised on children’s TV programmes.
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There is also an agreement with the food industry to cut calories – which the IEA claims has led to shoppers spotting “various popular products becoming smaller and/or less tasty”.
It says the only area where the UK takes a liberal approach is on vaping, which is not taxed like cigarettes.
The study comes after The Sun revealed that secret plans are under way to see how much higher the Government can get away with raising taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.
Getty – Contributor Drinkers pay the second-highest rates on wine and beer
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