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Fat Tax Back On The Menu

Fat Tax Back On The Menu

It looks as though the Fat Tax - to tax foods with a high fat content - is back on the political menu, ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy said today.

"Yesterday, Director of Public Health Dr Colin Tukiutonga stated that the Health Ministry is still working on a differential food tax - despite the fact that, two weeks ago, Health Minister Annette King, in response to a question in Parliament asking her to rule out a fat tax, said that `there is not even a fat chance that this will happen'," Mrs Roy said.

"This raises the question of who is really in charge of health in New Zealand. Is it the Minister, or the Ministry, who wears the trousers? Perhaps the Minister has devolved responsibility for developing the Fat Tax to the Ministry, as she has devolved responsibility for all health services to DHBs.

"At the time of Ms King's denial, I predicted that this would not be the end of the Fat Tax. The Labour Government's answer to any problem seems to be to slap a tax on it, and hope the problem will go away.

"The problem is obesity, and the only way it will be resolved is for individual New Zealanders to watch what they eat, and to exercise. A tax on high-fat foods will do nothing to decrease illnesses caused by obesity, and will only serve to thin taxpayers' wallets," Mrs Roy said.

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