If it moves, tax it: Get ready for a sugar tax

With a brand new government in place, all bets are off, and anything that “needs” taxing will be.   Or will it?  Some unexpected early restraint from our new Health Minister.

The food and drink industry is on notice to cut down on sugar in products – with the new Health Minister not ruling out regulation or a sugary drink tax.

Labour accused the last Government of inaction on the issue of obesity and accused some manufacturers of rigging a labelling system designed to flag healthy products to shoppers.

Health Minister David Clark said his preference was to work with the industry to develop a better front-of-pack labelling system, and to set firm goals to reduce sugar content in packaged food.

Clark said there was “growing evidence” around the effectiveness of a sugary drink tax, but such a step wasn’t a silver bullet because it was only focused on drinks.

“I want to talk with industry first before going down any track like that.”

Asked directly if Labour could rule out a sugary drinks tax, Clark said, “Nothing is ruled out at this stage, all options are on the table.”

The problem for consumers with Labour is that even though there isn’t sufficient evidence to show a sugar tax reduces the intake of sugar, the party is ideologically sympathetic to tax things for the sake of it.    You can buy “sugary drinks” at $0.99 per 1.25l bottle and the name brands fluctuate down to as little as $1.99 yet people happily pay up to $4 – $4.99 for the same drink outside of a supermarket.

Do you think placing even an absurdly large tax like 20% on sugary drinks is going to make a difference when the price in the market already fluctuates over 100% between outlets?

But under Labour, the State is our parent and the state tells us what we must think and do.

Why they don’t just go the whole way and ban sales of sugary drinks altogether is beyond me.  If it’s bad, surely it is bad?

Or is it about tax more than it is about health?

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.