This ‘nudge’ instinct is all too common in corporations, which view themselves as guiding forces on health, morality, politics, and actually most things.
It’s a dangerous game, relying solely on polling to judge the state of public opinion: it never tells the full story.
Together with tax cuts and less regulation, higher or more extensive benefits look like better support for hungry children than vouchers.
We should have a laser-like focus on reducing the tax burden, instead of relying on nannying to get us off of our bottoms.
From supermarkets and sugar taxes to surgery, there are a broad range of options at the Prime Minister’s disposal to get Britain’s weight under control.
Clubs and bars, particularly in London, have been at the whim of harsh regulations for years.
I qualified as a personal trainer to train people in my spare time. The greatest challenge is breaking down the barriers people face to getting fit and healthy.
It isn’t justification enough that obesity exacerbates the virus if any realistic timeline for slimming the nation is longer than the pandemic.
The Prime Minister’s spending commitments sit alongside welcome proposals for devolution and reform.
In the absence of counter-arguments, we can’t really be sure what the public thinks about state action on unhealthy lifestyles.
Raising national insurance, fewer “sin taxes”, public sector pay rises, more schools spending – all are part of his programme.
Public health and environmental health look the likeliest sources. Shifting everyone to the equivalent of PAYE and taxing the biggest businesses must also be targets.
This is not so much a pro-market position as an anti-democratic one. There is more to politics than market versus state.
It wouldn’t be a “sin tax”, it would be a tax penalising people for stopping smoking. The Treasury’s greed would have outweighed its logic.
The final article in our series argues that while the primary focus should be deficit reduction, there may yet be room to make life a bit easier, particularly for the poorest.