Welsh Labour Government 'funnelling people into McDonald’s' with draconian meal deal crackdown

A shopper in a supermarket and David TC Davies

A Government minister has warned shoppers will be 'funnelled into McDonald's'

PA / GB News
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 28/06/2023

- 17:26

Restrictions will be placed on products high in fat, sugar and salt

Plans to discourage shoppers from buying products high in fat, sugar and salt are under fire from a Government minister.

The new plans, which are set to be introduced from as early as next year, will be seen in Wales as the country looks to tackle its “obesity crisis”.

Restrictions will be imposed on the placement and price promotion in shops on foods deemed too unhealthy.

It will dictate what items can be sold as part of volume-based promotions and multi-buys, such as buy-one-get-one-free and meal deals.

The Welsh Government, led by Labour’s Mark Drakeford, insisted in their announcement on Tuesday that meal deals will not be banned, but the unhealthiest products would no longer be offered as part of such deals.

The Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, says the move is an affront on the rights of shoppers in Wales.

“Why shouldn’t people be able to choose what they have in their meal deals?” he asked on GB News.

“They’re only talking about doing this in supermarkets, so for example, someone like McDonald’s will still be able to offer a meal deal themselves, which is fine by the way, I like McDonald’s so no problem in that.


Man shopping in Tesco

Shoppers could be facing price hikes at supermarkets


“But it’s actually going to funnel people away from supermarkets and into McDonald’s and other places.

“There’s a lot of hypocrisy in this. Let people choose, that’s what I say.”

The new law will look to improve diets and help prevent obesity, with over 60 per cent of adults in Wales overweight and more than a quarter of children overweight or obese by the time they start school.

The Welsh government has argued that the public are broadly supportive of measures aiming to offering healthier options.

In a Public Health Wales (PHW) survey called Time To Talk Public Health, 57 per cent of people agreed that governments should use financial tools like taxes to reduce sugar in foods with high levels.

If current trends continue, PHW believe obesity will cost the NHS in Wales more than £465million by 2050.

David TC Davies believes people should be exercising more in Wales as the country battles an obesity crisis.

“One of the answers is more exercise. I personally train every day”, he said.

Mark Drakeford

Drakeford is under more fire for the draconian measure


Pressed by Mark Longhurst and Pip Thomson over how people struggle for time to exercise during the cost of living crisis, he argued that financial issues will be further exacerbated by the imposition of food restrictions in Welsh shops.

“The cost of living crisis is going to be made worse by doubling the cost of having a snack at lunch time.

“Most meal deals are fine, I think. Let’s put the people out there and let people decide.

“We’re adults, surely we can decide for ourselves what is healthy and what isn’t.

“Who are the Welsh government to turn around and say, ‘you can’t have a packet of crisps with your sandwich, or a chocolate bar, or a can of Coke’, it’s not heroin or cocaine.

“We’re talking about allowing adults to make an informed decision themselves about what they can or cannot eat.”

Lynne Neagle, the deputy minister for mental health and wellbeing, said: “This legislation will take forward our commitment to improve diets and help prevent obesity in Wales.

“Whilst similar legislation is also being introduced in England, I am minded to include temporary price reductions and meal deals within our restrictions.

“We will not be banning any product or type of promotion, our aim is to rebalance our food environments towards healthier products, so that the healthy choice becomes the easy choice.

“Our next generation deserve a different ‘normal’ where healthier foods are more available, affordable and appealing, and high fat, sugar and salt foods are not a core part of our diet.”

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