Labour have found the election winning circuit breaker they were looking for: New taxes

Labour is apparently close to endorsing a tax on sugary drinks – with health spokeswoman Annette King saying there is growing evidence and support for such a measure.

The Government has come under pressure from medical professionals to introduce a sugary drink tax, particularly after the British Conservative Government opted to do so in its latest Budget.

But although the Greens want such a tax brought it, Labour’s position has been that there isn’t enough evidence.

King has since suggested that position could change.

She told the Herald that no final decision had been made, but evidence for a sugary drink tax continued to mount.

“And I think there is growing support for such an approach. So I am reading all I can and talking to people.

“I hope to have the rest of our obesity policy ready for November.”

In January the World Health Organisation recommended that governments tax sugary beverages to reduce childhood obesity.

The commission – co-chaired by the Prime Minister’s chief science adviser Professor Sir Peter Gluckman – cited research by Mexican health officials on the 10 per cent surcharge on sugary drinks that was introduced there three years ago.

Health advocates and some Mexican senators are now urging for that tax to be doubled, as sales of fizzy drinks have largely recovered after an initial drop.

Mexico’s experience has been that it has had a negligible result on sales and absolutely no measureable result in health statistics.

So Labour want to win an election with a new tax that doesn’t actually work.

They are political retards.


– NZ Herald

  • Chris EM

    “…growing evidence and support for such a measure.” Yeah, right. Show me your evidence and support, or is this just made up, like the 41,000 homeless?

    • dumbshit

      Maybe, she has her head stuck in a sugar bag! Surely educating parents, should be at the top of the list!

  • papagaya

    Labour is nuts. They’d actually pick up quite a few votes if they campaigned on a policy of no new taxes, because voters feel like we are taxed enough already. But this? Down the gurgler they go!

    • Tom

      It will be another tax on the poor and stupid, their own supporters.

    • Metricman

      They are already there, this is just the sound of more gurgling !

  • Sally

    Well they need to do something to fund all their promises. They have 100,000 homes to build and 3 years of free tertiary education to fund. This is only the start, there will be more taxes along the way.

  • Vutekno

    Brilliant in its idiocy! Annette King really needs to move since the little grey cells seem not to be working very well these days.

    The fact that the Mexican Senators want to double the tax because sales on fizzy drinks have largely recovered since the first tax was applied is nothing short of incredible. What then further increases again each time sales recover? Don’t they see that people’s habits are unlikely to change. After initial reaction to the tax people get over it and carry on as usual.

    IMO it’s exactly the same with our tax increases on cigarettes. So we are wasting our time doing this as it will not work and only puts money in the hands of the IRD.

    Telling voters that they will be taxed more on anything is almost always not a good strategy if you are serious about becoming the Government. But then I have the view that Labour really doesn’t want that. To much like hard work!

    • SlightlyStrange

      I would suggest that continuing to increase the sugar tax in that manner might mean lower income taxes in the future, but who am I kidding – it would all go into the consolidated fund and be used for more MP perks / paper pushers.

  • cows4me

    Yes that will work, what a bunch of useless tossers. Governance to the lowest common denominator brought to you by people with very limited intellects and a deep desire to tell people how to live their lives. Screw the lot of the socialist idiots.

  • Poppa

    Do they really think their own voters, all 170 of them, will understand how higher taxes equates with Labour’s intention to back the Kiwi Dream and help every New Zealander get ahead?

  • Grizz30

    What about cakes, biscuits, frappacinos and lates. Obesity is multifaceted. It is far bigger than a soft drink. It involves knowledge about calorie input and expenditure. Knowledge about food macros and how they effect the body and modify food seeking behaviour. Also there is the emotional side that needs addressing.

    This tax will only increase government revenue. It would be more prudent to have education programmes rather than throwing a stick at the population.

  • Big_Al

    How dare they impose a tax on me for a drink that i enjoy and consume occassionally and am definately not obese. The percentage of obese people is small by comparison of the overall population. Those that do consume themselves into obesity will continue to do so no matter whet the price is. They are better to introduce a “Fat Bastards” tax with exclusions for those with a medical condition for being that way. This tax could be reduced proportionally when their obesity reduces to a satisfactory level. Education and a tough love approach is the only thing that would work. Parents of obese kids need to be held responsible also. Don’t penalise the majority for the failings of the minority.

  • Grizz30

    This tax is going to be a regressive tax. Poorer people are like to pay more of it. Wealthy people either do not care about the price increase or are usually smart enough to not drink it anyway.

    • Carl

      Don’t worry Grizz the money they make from the tax on the drinks they will give back to the same people in benefit increases.

      • OneTrack

        So that they can afford the sugary drinks.

  • Isherman

    Obesity Policy?, why cant they just be honest for once in their lives, this proposed tax has nothing to do with obesity – it’s about revenue and nothing else.
    Just carry on treating us like we’re all stupid and see how that works out at the polls next year.

  • I always put on a few kgs when I go on an overseas holiday, I guess that means they will be looking at taxing holidays in the future also.

  • Dan

    The only positive to come out of this story is that the announcement did not come from Mr Little. He may yet make it to day 8. Still, early hours yet through.

    Meanwhile the taxpayer union is not impressed.

  • Vutekno

    Of course Bellamy’s will be exempt from sugar tax!

  • Teletubby

    More importantly than being a new tax this is exactly the type of social engineering that lead to the demise of the Clark regime when the voters rejected it

  • Wolfman Jack
  • XCIA

    “The Government has come under pressure from medical professionals to introduce a sugary drink tax”. Before the “medical professionals” blag another tax out of us so they can top up the funding in their very large trough, perhaps the could set an example by urging their own people to loose a bit of weight.

  • Rick H

    Just how can it possibly be, that Labour is still polling higher than Mana and Internet parties?

    Anything close to 30% is actually unbelievable.

  • Brian Dingwall

    Ah hah, I can sense a “grow your own sugar beet” industry emerging to join the “grow your own smokes” and “grow your own um painkillers” industries…….real industrial advancement…see, taxes at work….

  • OneTrack

    Have Labour actually defined what a “sugary drink” is? Orange juice? Or will it be decided by the expert committee after the election?

    • dave

      OJ – 8g sugar in 100ml
      Coke – 10g sugar in 100ml
      Beer – 0g in 100ml

      Clearly beer is the healthy option and should have its tax cut.

      • A Goldie

        You have beer wrong, even a dry beer sits at 1.006 gravity with e weight been unfermentable sugars.
        A bottle of the “yeah right” beer have the equivalent of approx a teaspoon of sugar added.
        Not that I advocating a sugar tax

        • dave

          Mr Beck begs to differ.

  • Second time around

    Coca Cola in Australia reported a reduced profit because sales of Coke were down. It doesn’t worry them because they sell other things like bottled water too and Australia doesn’t even have a drinks tax. But Donald Trump could talk some sense into the Mexicans when he flies down there tonight, by explaining that if a 10% tax has had no effect, most likely there is no relationship between health and sugar taxes.

  • sandalwood789

    I think there should be a tax on stupid political policies.

    Labour would be hit very hard by that. They have the “close charter schools” policy and now this.

  • Chris Bell

    What a bunch of turkeys – sugary drinks is the best they can do – how about taxing useless parents who bring unwanted kids into the world addicted to the drugs the mother was using throughout the pregnancy and then go out and commit mass crime on us who care to obey society’s rules?- oh, that’s right – they have no money to tax and Labour loves them completely, so let’s go after sugar- that’ll work!

  • Malcolm

    What these clowns seem to have forgotten or overlooked is that we already have a 15% tax on so called “sugary drinks” and all food, and that apparently has had no measurable or observable effect on obesity or any other associated health problems since its introduction so how is another 10%, 15%, 20% going to make any difference.

    As someone has already cynically observed, the tax is just to keep the enlarged trough full for access by more snouts under the guise of public health/good research that without life as we know it would come to and end..

  • Wheninrome

    They need to get out more and check the supermarket trollies, some of the financially challenged parents, trollies full of disposable nappies, fizzy drinks, prepared or packet food, few vegetables and the inevitable question of the checkout operator, cigarettes. So that tax will hit them even further in the pocket, so in your dreams labour this will not win voters for you.

  • Wheninrome

    They would be better advised to subsidise gyms, sports clubs etc., get people out and active. Energy in equal too energy expended equals happy. Energy in and no energy expended equals sad and fat.
    tax does not work, people just drown their sorrows. Think schools, no swimming pools, sports fields, gyms this is where it should be starting, get kids active that would be money wells spent, huge savings in hospital and health care.

  • waldopepper

    this will be a terrific tax. as we have seen, the the anti smacking bill has eliminated child abuse from our shores, as promised, and this will eliminate obesity. all thats left is labour passing its “populace to wear rose tinted glasses at all times” act, and the magic utopia of left wing new zealand will be complete.

  • RD

    In Mexico, you can’t drink the tap water so everyone buys bottled water. The price difference between bottled water and fizzy drinks is negligible (similar to NZ) so if you are having to buy bottled drinks, which would one will the kids demand?