This is why we need a fat bastard tax

Tax payers are funding gluttony and poor health choices. Christine Odone explains what most of us feel when a friend’s elderly mother fell over.

I was happy to know that my taxes were being used for this pensioner’s welfare. The infirmities of age come to us all, and, to use an old-fashioned term, this was a deserving case.

Then she describes how she feels about a fat bastard.

I feel differently about Brenda Flanagan-Davies. Britain’s fattest woman weighs 40 stone. That’s more than my refrigerator, double bed and desk combined. Brenda has reached these gargantuan proportions by chomping her way through nine chocolate bars and three fizzy drinks per day. Now immobile, she needs help to turn in bed, wash, dress and relieve herself.

A team of carers is on hand to do just that. Every day they come and cater for a 43-year-old who for decades has deliberately indulged her cravings for Twix and crisps. Paid for by my taxes, the carers make this obese woman’s existence as pleasant as her 40 stone will allow. They plump her pillows, massage cream into her fleshy folds and cook her meals. I begrudge her the team’s assistance, I’m afraid: in my eyes, she belongs to a growing number of the “undeserving ill”.

We should charge fat bastards a fat bastard tax for being fat bastards. They are taxing the rest of us to fund their gluttony caused ill health. Don’t tax food, tax the fat bastard.

I may be a bit overweight but with a fat bastard tax I would sort it out quick smart.


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  • Pete George

    Fatness is becoming an increasing bastard of a problem. We’re facing a fatdemic. Everyone knows it’s happening, but no parties are prepared to address it, it’s put into the too big basket.

    But Whale, I don’t think whacking a tax on it – however that could be done – is a workable solution. For a start many fat people don’t pay any nett tax anyway, we’d have to give them more and take a bit back.

    It’s different to depression in that it’s mostly self inflicted rather than an affliction, but many people with obesity can’t just stop it. Once they have it it’s with them persistently.

    And overeating is an addiction that has a unique difference to most addictions – you can’t go cold turkey.

    • Gazzaw

      I disagree in part with your last statement Pete. Alcoholics still have to drink but they drink liquids without any alcohol content. Fat bastards still have to eat but they can consume healthy foods.  

    • In Vino Veritas

      Pete, I take issue with “can’t just stop it. Once they have it it’s with them persistently.”

      This is just bollocks. Lack of personal responsibility to look after oneself is the #1 reason obese people “cannot stop it”. Try sensible exercise and a sensible diet. Guess what? It works.

      I believe it was Maurice Williamson that was crucified for saying “There were no fat people in Nazi concentration camps”. Would you dispute this? And if not, the reason would be that they weren’t fed, and they were worked into the ground.

      • Pete George

        Have you had any close association with anyone having trouble controlling their weight?

        I was lucky, I could eat as much as I liked and maintain a modest weight. That changed in my mid forties, I became less active but also my body changed, I eat less than half what I used to and still have to be watchful.

        I’m lucky that I can manage it, but I’ve known people who have different metablisms and different mindsets and have huge difficulty.

        If it was simply based on logic you wouldn’t see an obese nurse would you?

        People know that too much food, too much alcohol, cigarettes etc are bad for them but still overindulge.

      • In Vino Veritas

        Pete, yes I do have close association. And its sheer laziness and lack of motivation that prevents the people from sorting it out. Two youngsters I know are seriously obese. Both have mothers that are seriously obese. The mothers both abrogate and justify their childrens obesity by saying they are just naturally big. Horseshit.

        Your assertion was that they “cant just stop it” Mine is, yes they can. If they want to. Don’t make excuses for them, they make a sackful for themselves.These people should have a choice, sort out their issues, or pay when the time comes for them to be sorted by someone else. Don’t expect others to pay for them.

  • Mike

    An idiot tax will yield far more. And then we can tax idiots who propose a fat bastard tax……

  • Cobolt

    That’s pretty much it Pete.

    The only thing I’d add is the reason no one wants to touch it is because to do so would interfere with “personal freedom” – but then how do you explain bicycle helmets, seat-belts, tobacco tax, etc, etc.

    • Pete George

      Yes, the freedom to eat is fairly fundamental.

      It’s also a lot easier to police bike helmet and seat belt wearing, which is in public.

      • Cobolt

         I don’t know, there’d be work available for people running around with scales and tape measures, especially at shopping malls and out side take-away shops.

    • jay cee

      remember the flak that labour copped when it tried to introduce healthy food into school tuck shops the cry then as i  remember went up about personal freedom. a chance to educate the next generation about healthy eating by example was lost.

  • SalaciousTCrumb

    The ultimate tax for obesity is the portion of lifespan you forfeit.

  • Joes

    Remove the team of helpers.

    I’m sure she has some side effects from the massive weight, and denying her treatment of those would be the same as denying lung cancer treatment to a smoker ….hmmm I may be on to something here…..

    But my point is if she can’t get out of bed to do anything (e.g. go to the shop to buy more chocolate) it’s a weight/food craving problem, not a health problem like diabetes, so she can figure out a way to get out of bed herself.

  • Gazzaw

    Why should Joe Average be taxed for their monthly Maccas indulgence? Just make it user pays. If you get obese due to overeating then you don’t qualify for publicly funded treatment. It’s called personal responsibility.


  • MarcWills

    Yay! I’m underweight so I look forward to my tax refund…  what? No? Geez.

    • Agent BallSack

      Underweight people are as much a drain on taxpayers as fat people. Generally dietary deficiency and pneumonia go hand in hand with being too skinny. So hand over your wads of cash.

  • Phar Lap

    Trying to work out what is worse.A fat tub of lard who never missed a meal in their lives,or a skinny smoker who never missed a ciggy in their lives. Seems the difference is a smoker pays $8 dollars tax per packet of twenty,So does the smoker subsidise the fat tubby or not.Wonder what are the statistics for fats,and smokers health wise,eg do more fatties get hospital or doctors visits as against smokers.Maybe the jury is still out ,or just hasn’t been sworn in yet.

    • Karlos

      I’ve been smoking for 15 years, been to the doctors 3 times during that period, and 2 of those were purely for health checks (one because work was offering them and the other for my UK visa), I have no problem paying exhorbitant taxes on ciggies as I know that they are bad for your health and I don’t think it is fair for non-smokers to have to subsidise my bad choices. I would like to think there is a way to tax deep fried fast-food joints to do the same. Why not a tax on using a deep frier? It’s a start……

  • Just imagine the outcry if we had a fat person tax. Crys of Poll tax and discrimination. People refusing to turn up to the national weigh ins. Difficulties in collecting the cash. 

    Taxing food is the smart way of achieving this.

    • Agent BallSack

      Check the BMI. No, no I don’t mean body mass index before you get too excited. Its the Big Mac Index. Its a scale of how expensive Big Macs are in respective countries, last I checked NZ had almost the cheapest Big Macs in the world, and we wonder why people eat to much junk. Add that to PI’s who are genetically disposed to putting on weight in times of plenty, then you have why we are a nation of fatties.

  • Agent BallSack

    I think if a major natural disaster ever befell NZ Whale, you would be glad of those extra few pounds. All the skinny bastards will be starving in days and you’ll have enough reserves to live for weeks providing you have access to fresh drinking water, or H20 in a pinch. I am currently taking back years of sitting on a couch and bad diet, I have lost about 7kgs in 2 months simply by pedalling my little ass off. A lot due to the fact that you got me started back on my bike again when you raced Mallard.

  • Agent BallSack

    This is an interesting discussion, my partner and I were having it the other night. We agreed that since humans are animals (sorry god lovers), the natural state for a body to be is fat in times of plenty and lean in times of none. Body image is something that’s pushed on us by advertising companies to make us feel bad about who and what we are so we will buy their products. There is no ‘ideal’ weight because every human is different. However if you’re prone to getting fat cut down on the foods that cause you to store fat, but dont starve yourself of the essential vitamins and calories that help your body run efficiently.

  • Peter Jenkins

     I like the idea in theory, but can see collection issues – and as Pete George points out, a lot wont be net taxpayers anyway – i.e. the taxpayer will end up paying the tax.

    Perhaps better to simply confront them and tell them that if they want assistance it will come with conditions, namely a change of diet etc. Again, as with alcohol, tobacco, pokies etc probably the main thing the State needs to do is stop being an Enabler

    Peter J
    Webmaster for

  • Sarrs

    Well we certainly can’t blame a lack of education on this one – who in the world doesn’t know fish and chips, Maccas and KFC are going to make you fat?

    It’s odd because really the only situation I see this as being comparable to is smoking. Whether or not you agree that eating can be an addiction, it’s certainly not on the same scale as smoking so even then the comparison doesn’t quite work. When you tax smokers, you aren’t really taxing people who only do it once a month or so. Who would decide what to tax? Potatoes? A vegetable but if I chop them up and deep fry them they are dreadfully unhealthy. Maybe they should ban fast food advertising and sponsorship.

  • Cobolt

    The Solution:
    Annual basic check-ups for everyone.
    Your basic check up results dictate a Health Tax bracket which is passed on to your employer to incorporate into your PAYE.
    If you’re a fat bastard you pay more tax. You don’t like paying more tax? lose weight.
    Beneficiaries get food stamps to buy nutritious food, no biscuits, tobacco, bully beef etc. A small amount of discretionary money can be used for the odd “treat”

  • Gravedodger

    Just narrow down the doors to outlets that are deemed to be fat fucker sucker tucker sources.

    Caught a clip of the “fatty co leader of the Greens as she trumpeted the success at the GE,  when in fact they merely hoovered the disillutioned socialists,  and she needs to take a leaf from Julia’s playbook. Stay behind a substantial lecturn till they turn the camera off. She staggered down the aisle of the hall and could not walk without swinging her hips to allow her thighs to pass each other with every step.

    And she leads the party that has a best answer for all on everything

  • paul

    Fat people buy more food, so pay more GST… 

    • Agent BallSack

      Considering the GST quotient of a Big Mac is about 60c you would have to eat 150 of them before you paid 1 days wages for a nurse. So no, fat people dont pay their health costs with the GST on the foods they eat, workers and smokers do.

      EDIT: Yes I am a smoker, cutting down to a point where I can quit.

  • Pete George

    An indication of how difficult this is to address is if you don’t meet strict weight criteria – for your luggage – you get whacked a heap of surcharge when flying, but then might get squeezed in your cabin space by a double Mac. And I don’t get zapped for cash (or with nasty rays) for wearing my lead undersuit.

  • Balanced View

    I’m not sure where I stand on this yet.
    But if this was a path we were to go down, surely the easiest way to ensure the right people pay is to remove government funding/subsidies for all obesity related illnesses? If you’ve contributed towards your poor health, then it’s up to you to pay what you’re able to. Actually this should probably apply to all self inflicted injuries.