Danish grocers said to exploit 'fat tax'

Oct. 31, 2011 at 2:33 PM
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COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Danish supermarkets have raised prices more than justified by a new tax on fattening foods, a check of product prices indicates.

The Copenhagen Post reports a review of prices at eight supermarkets by weekly newspaper Sondagsavisen in cooperation with the Tax Ministry revealed prices had been increased more than needed to cover costs of the "fat tax," which took effect Oct. 1.

The tax covers items such as butter, cream, some cheeses and other foods with high saturated fat content.

The price check compared current prices with the tax authority Skat's expected price increases due to the tax.

Skat had calculated the tax would mean a 6.6 percent increase in the price of sour cream, but a spot check showed supermarket Aldi had raised the price 17.3 percent.

Aldi raised prices more than what the new tax could account for on nine of 10 inspected products.

At supermarket Kvickly, the price of butter increased 12.7 percent more than warranted by the tax, while the price of cheese rose by 17 percent more.

"Supermarkets can determine their own prices, so it is not prohibited," Vagn Jelsoe of the Danish Consumer Council told Sondagsavisen. "But it doesn't look good."

Some politicians said they would prohibit supermarkets from exploiting the tax, the Post said.

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