Fat tax would be thin end of the wedge

I DISAGREE with Kevin Breslin’s proposal to extend Michael O’Leary’s plans for a “fat tax” on his aircraft to other modes of public transport (Letters, February 17).

I appreciate Mr Breslin does not wish to offend anyone. I question the theory that thin people are the majority, silent or otherwise. It may seem like stating the obvious, but roughly half of the human race are above the average weight of the population.

The inequity of the economic theory of taxation would reach a new low if it punished people just for being what they are. Surely the Government is not that hard up? It would be tantamount to fascism to place a financial tax on gentle giants just because of their genetic attributes.

If we legislated against fat people, there would be no more rugby football played in Ireland. We would never see an Irish Olympic heavyweight champion boxer, weight-lifter, shot-putter or hammer-thrower. Our national anthem would become “Discrimination Once Again”.

In any case, big people are not to blame when transport companies persist in designing narrow seats and low roofs on their most uncomfortable vehicles. It takes all sorts to make a world. We cannot reverse a million years of human evolution.

In case you are wondering, I am 6ft 3ins tall. I weigh 20 stone, but I can carry it. I would not harm a fly.

Michael Mernagh



Co Cork

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