Ban-and-Tax Greens have a sweet tooth for a sugar tax

While National and Labour are against sugar taxes the Greens are all for it.

70 public health specialists have written to the Government asking for the tax.

Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said a tax on sugary drinks would help curb New Zealand’s high obesity rates.

“We do know that putting a tax on a product reduces consumption of that product. And we know that reducing consumption of sugary drinks will reduce obesity.”

He said he refuted the Government’s claim that there was not enough evidence to support such a tax.

“In fact there is stronger evidence for a levy on sugary drinks than there is for any other aspect of the government’s obesity packet,” Mr Hague said.

70 unnamed experts say stronger unspecified evidence exists and that’s a fact.

The problem with this is that this sugar tax is frightfully difficult to implement.  And as we saw, when Labour had a go at this issue, they were going to exempt sweets because they said it was a “Treat food”.

But yoghurt was going to get hit.

All this waffling about sugar tax ignores the fact nobody has found a way to implement it with some consistency and in a way that doesn’t vilify one product or one industry over another.

Just check the amount of sugar in orange juice for example.  And, not to be factious, check the amount of sugar in sugar.  It’s insane.

Unless anyone comes up with a sensible and realistic policy framework, airy fairy calls for bans and taxes are simply heat and noise.

Thanks goodness, for once, this Government isn’t going to yield to the vocal few that want to parent us all into our healthiest death possible.

Finally, for the levels of tax to have any kind of significant impact in health statistics, the tax will need to be quite significant.  A $1.99 bottle of Coke isn’t going to stop selling because now it’s $2.49.

The only real solution is to implement a Fat Bastard Tax….where the Fat Bastard pays the tax for being a Fat Bastard and no one else.


– Kim Bowden, Newstalk ZB via Yahoo!


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  • Hard1

    Ahem.. Wait until the kids start the morning with one of these monsters…

    “ATLANTA—The Coca-Cola Corporation held a press conference yesterday to announce that its soft drinks will soon be available exclusively in 30-liter plastic bottles. According to company spokespeople, Coke’s decision to sell its product in what many consider to be overly large containers is not based on a specific study or survey of consumer demands, but rather on the company’s desire to make a resounding display of its corporate might.”

    • Wot? No tap?

    • Fairnz

      Pretty good for a Rum night. “1 Full Fat coke and 10 bottles of Coruba please.” I’d hope there would be gigantic Mentos packet selling right next to that Coke.

  • Second time around

    Without Labour’s support the sugar tax is dead. The tax was going to build recreational facilities because 70 academics know that exercise is one way to reduce obesity. Of course they know that exercise is nowhere near as effective as a sugar tax, if we believe what Kevin Hague is saying.

  • Frank N Further

    According to Wikipedia 33 states of the US have a soda tax. These are not necessarily targeted at reducing consumption for health reasons, rather they are just part of those states income stream. But if a tax is effective in reducing sugar consumption, and hence improving health, then it should follow that that citizens in those states that do tax soda would be less obese and more healthy than those in the states do not. Can the Greens or anyone else provide data that supports this hypothesis?

    • No, they can’t. Because there is NO evidence that a sugar tax reduces obesity, only that it reduces consumption of the items that are taxed. The obese swiftly substitute these for high calorie alternatives. Eg swap Coke for fruit juice or milkshakes (or even plain milk). And, unless they drink liters of Coke a day, most obese people get their excess carbs from bread, potatoes and rice.

  • Backdoor

    There is inconsistencies in The Green Party’s policies. We see how the tobacco tax has impacted heavily on the low socio-economic group. Sugar tax will not stop them spending what little money they have. The next thing the Green Party will be claiming is that benefits need to increase.

  • Left Right Out

    I wonder if the material one is ok for the tax to be included on here cider?

  • XCIA

    How difficult can it be for a parent these days to stop buying fizzy drinks and ensuring that their charges brush their teeth at least twice a day. To go a step further, you can even accomplish a 5 or 10BX Plan without turning off the television.

  • cod

    Fat Bastards Tax, acronym = FBT, sorry that’s taken. What about HCT = Horizontally challenged tax. Nice PC name, acronym not taken, a thing of beauty.

  • Cambo

    And what would the tax be used for? Sponsoring studies on obesity, so the troughers get more money to write dumb reports.
    I took my daughter to dentist last year.. he asked about her diet, and advised she cut down on strawberries and blueberries because of the sugar content. Taxing fruit now?

  • Steely Man

    We know that tax imposts reduce the desire to do the thing that is taxed. That is why the Greens are so vehemently against income tax because it encourages people to work for bigger incomes (no wait…). Let me try that again. We know that higher prices cause people to change their behaviour because higher Big Mac prices have led to very skinny people in Porirua and South Auckland compared to those fatties in cheap Big Mac places like Epsom and Takapuna.

  • Toby

    people keep siting ‘coke’ as the target when in reality it would hit this company the least. they have loads of products that they would spread the tax over to make it negligible. however, take a company like charlies juices where all their products would get slammed and you end up hiking the price of ‘natural’ juices while all the sugar laden stuff carries on being the same price.

  • hsvmaloo

    I grew up on an orchard and lost count of how many fillings I had to have through my school years.. But, I’m not obese nor fat. In fact I’m very fit for my age and I still love my treats when I desire them.

  • Ruahine

    Are you onboard with all this Meturei?. Or is Kevin Hague having a go at you.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    That should see it off the list of future taxes now the Greens have put their mark on it. Yuk.