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Finland has used VAT (or Alv, as it is in Finland) in just this progressive way. ALV in Finland is 17% on food and drink, 8% on transport and books, 22% on others. Artistic performance fees are zero rated.

There is currently discussion on lowering the alv on food.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 12:56:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm surprised to find it so high on food.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 12:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that it was a hidden marketing subsidy to Finnish producers. But high prices are now longer tolerated, and Lidl (a German warehouse type food operation that works out 20% cheaper, but with few Finnish branded goods) is getting more customers. Lidl goes for lower value industrial sites just outside of towns, but easily accessible.

The other side of expensive food is, of course, greater consumption of cheap crap food that brings its own problems at the healthcare end. I am sure it is a very elastic equation.

One key factor to remember in deciding progressive use of taxes of any kind is that while they are designed for one frame of mass mind, the change itself will cause another frame of mass mind. This always reminds me of Mr Hulot in Mon Oncle, struggling to right a perfectly manicured bush that has lost a branch to the activities of his nephew :-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 02:45:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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