LISBON, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese Order of Nutritionists gave a ringing endorsement to the government's jeopardized salt tax on Monday.
"People are dying because of bad eating habits," Alexandra Bento, the chairman of the order, told the Portuguese Lusa News Agency. "What a shame it would be not to take this opportunity to tax foods that damage people's health," he added.
The Socialist Party (PS) government has included a tax on foods with a high salt content in its 2018 state budget proposal.
But last week the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), Social Democratic Party (PSD) and Central Social Democratic-Popular Party (CDS-PP) all said they would vote against the so-called "chips tax".
The tariff would apply to biscuits, crackers, potato chips, French fries and breakfast cereals. A tax of 0.80 euros (0.94 U.S. dollar cents) per kilo would be enforced whenever these products contained more than 1 gram of salt per 100 kilograms.
The government claims the tax would raise up to 30 million euros. Bento, who was speaking at the Portuguese Order of Nutritionists' first annual congress in Lisbon, said the revenue could be spent on educating the public on how to adopt healthier diets.
The budget will face its third and final parliamentary reading on Nov. 27.