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.
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.