They know their customers, shame the Labour party doesn’t

Labour are contemplating introducing a soft drink tax. This will apparently lead to the slimming of the nation despite there being no actual evidence to show this is what would happen. This is also despite the fact that soft drink makeup about 3 calories, or 1.6% of your total intake of energy per day.

Shopkeepers know otherwise.

Palmerston North dairy owners doubt a tax on sugary drinks will change people’s consumption habits, saying those looking for a sweeter sip will simply change to cheaper brands.

The debate is back in the spotlight after Labour health spokeswoman Annette King told media there was growing support in the health sector for a sugary drink tax. While Labour’s position had previously been that there was not enough evidence to support such a tax, no final decision had been made.

Albert St Dairy owner Dakshina Keshav said if the Government started taxing sugary drinks it could be a significant hit to her business if customers were put off by it.  

Drinks such as Coca-Cola, or energy drinks, accounted for 15 to 20 per cent of her sales.

But Keshav said she hadn’t had any fewer customers buying cigarettes since a more aggressive tobacco tax was introduced in 2013, raising the price of tobacco products 10 per cent year on year.

Rather, people had simply switched to cheaper brands.

She imagined it would be much the same with soft drinks.

“They tried this with cigarettes, and I don’t think cigarette taxes are really working, so why are they trying it on something else.”

People substitute which means Labour’s tax, which is being sold as a tax on soft drinks, would have to be much broader than that.

Palmerston North is a Labour electorate, it seems their shop-keepers are smarter than their MP. You would have thought that Iain Lees-Galloway would have taken a break from fostering closer parliamentary relationships between MPs and stenographers to at least do some market research to save Annette King some embarrassment. Then again when you were Darren Hughes’ landlady there ain’t much left to be embarrassed about.


– Fairfax

  • Hard1

    Saw a schoolgirl casually flip the top off her 1.5 liter Coke straight onto the footpath outside Countdown this morning. Must be going to finish the bottle. Can’t help but think that easy, cheap and tasty foods and their consumers will easily win against Labour fighting their new ideologically pseudo-fascist diet war against people who really don’t give a stuff about just about everything Labour says.

    • Larry

      And if it cost 10% more, it wouldn’t make a scrap of difference. Nor would 20%

      • Wheninrome

        More working girls on the streets of south auckland

  • oldmanNZ

    Growing support in the health sector?
    A few “academics” supporting it, who probably think most people just sit around drink coke all day,

  • XCIA

    I’ll lay odds that they have got this wrong, just like their diet advice twenty years ago increased the number of diabetics. “Just because those things can lead you to get fat doesn’t mean that’s what is making us fat,” said Professor Just. “By targeting just these vilified foods, we are creating policies that are not just highly ineffective, but may be self-defeating as it distracts from the real underlying causes of obesity.”

  • F T Bear

    It’s going to be a tough choice for the crooks, to steal smokes or fizzy.

  • Aucky

    Let me tell you a story about lightbulbs and showerheads Annette.

  • Second time around

    “Growing” support doesn’t mean that there is any evidence, any more than the vast and ever increasing quantity of anecdotal claims proves the notion that childhood vaccinations cause autism. An intrusive public health policy needs to be supported by robust evidence. Annette King as a former health minister should know better.