Labour to introduce sugar tax by stealth


You’d have thought that Labour had learned from the last time they wanted to go all nanny state on us all.

Last time it was light bulbs and shower-heads….now it is Watties Tomato Sauce.

Labour wants the food industry to reduce how much sugar goes into processed food in an attempt to reduce childhood obesity.

New Zealand has the third-highest adult obesity rate in the OECD and Labour’s health spokeswoman, Annette King, has unveiled details about how her party will tackle the problem if it gets into government.

In her speech to the annual conference in Palmerston North today, Ms King said Labour would work with the food industry to reduce the amount of sugar in processed food.

It would be voluntary at first, but would eventually move to being a requirement.  

Ms King said this approach was easier than trying to bring in a sugar tax.

She envisaged the policy would apply to foods such as cereals, peanut butter, yoghurt and tomato sauce that did not have sugar added to them in the past.

“It’s the accumulative effect in a day of the sugar that you eat – by the end of the day the amount that you eat is many, many teaspoons,” she told reporters.

But Ms King said treat foods such as lollies, chocolate and ice-cream would not be caught out by the requirements.

“We are not the anti-treat police,” she said.

Labour also wants to bring in an easier-to-understand food labelling system, which would show how many teaspoons of sugar or salt were in a food product.

This sort of policy might appeal to the Stalinists of the Labour Party but will do little to endear Labour to working Kiwis.

There is more sugar in one orange than there is in a serving of tomato sauce.  There is more sugar in an apple than in a serving of bread.

This is patently insane, and once again Labour haven’t thought anything through.

No sugar tax on lollies and chocolate.  But cookies and biscuits remain to be seen.

This is nothing short of a Jihad against food manufacturers, the very people that employ lots and lots of Labour voters and tend to be more unionised than other workplaces.

And what exactly is the thinking behind putting a Sugar Tax on yoghurt?  We’re getting mixed messages from the Sugar Tax Luddites – first they want to tax soft drinks because they’re supposedly bad for you, and now they want to tax yoghurt because… it’s bad for you?  We need to encourage people to eat less yoghurt?  No calcium for people over 50?   Lump in the milk and cheese because of the fat…

But wait a minute, ice cream is exempt.

Yoghurt is food, so it is taxed, ice cream is a treat so it is not?

What an omnishambles…  (well, clusterthingy, but we can’t say that here).


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