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Sugar taxes: Labour should look at evidence

Press Release – New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

Taxpayers Union Urges Labour Party to Look Closely at the Evidence Before Promoting Sugar TaxMEDIA RELEASE

Taxpayers’ Union Urges Labour Party to Look Closely at the Evidence Before Promoting Sugar Tax

31 AUGUST 2016

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for the Labour Party to calmly examine the evidence before it commits to promoting a new tax on sugar or fizzy drinks. Reacting to comments by Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:

“While sugar taxes are very good at raising money for politicians, the fact that sales barely moved in Mexico shows that unless a tax is very high, say $3 per can of fizzy, they have little effect on consumer patterns. In particular, experience of the Danish ‘fat tax’ and the Mexican sugar tax suggest such measures have the least effect on those over-consuming.”

“We all acknowledge that more needs to be done to combat obesity, however targeting a specific product which accounts for less than 2% of New Zealanders’ total calorific intake is a reactionary policy rather than a solution.”

“At the very least, Labour should commit to returning to New Zealanders the additional revenue they would receive from a sugar tax in tax cuts elsewhere, otherwise the government will simply use fizzy drink consumers as cash cows, knowing very well that it is unlikely to dent obesity rates.”

The Taxpayers’ Union report, ‘Fizzed out: Why a sugar tax won’t curb obesity‘, is available at:


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