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Don't Tax The Burger, King

Don't Tax The Burger, King

Friday 11 Jul 2003 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Taxation

ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Heather Roy today wrote to Director General of Health Karen Poutasi, expressing her concern at conflicting comments from Health Minister Annette King and Director of Public Health Dr Colin Tukiutonga, over the possible imposition of a differential food tax - otherwise known as a `Fat Tax'.

"I have also submitted a number of written Parliamentary Questions, to try to uncover the truth of this matter - and to dispel the Minister's two-faced spin," Mrs Roy said.

"In answer to my questions in Parliament, Ms King ruled out the possibility of a Fat Tax - yet, this week, Dr Tukiutonga denied that the Minister had quashed the idea, and said that work was continuing.

"It appears that Ms King is publicly denying a Fat Tax - but, behind the scenes, is sanctioning the work that is obviously continuing. Or perhaps we are being softened up for a dedicated health tax. If this is the Minister's real agenda, she should come clean and say so.

"If there is no tax, as the Minister has said, why are scarce health resources being wasted on investigating this further? The truth of the matter is that Ms King is still contemplating the tax, but Health Ministry staff have not yet been told that it is a `secret'.

"I predict that what we are seeing is a repeat of the Flatulence Tax scenario - where a tax was publicly denied, only to be replaced with a levy.

"Ms King is obviously untrustworthy. She has forgotten to inform her Ministry of the Labour spin, and is trying to pull the wool over the public's eyes," Mrs Roy said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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