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Outgoing health boss backs PC police?

Outgoing health boss backs PC police?

National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Katherine Rich is astounded that outgoing Public Health Director Colin Tukuitonga appears to be advocating the creation of a PC police force to track down and tax serial couch potatoes.

"This would be easy to laugh off if there hadn't been serious talk about a fast-food or 'fat' tax, a tax on movie tickets and videos and other silly tax ideas such as a 'flatulence tax' on animal emissions," Mrs Rich says.

She's concerned by Mr Tukuitonga's support for a report by Diabetes New Zealand and Fight the Obesity Epidemic which includes proposals like taxing television viewers to discourage the inactive pastime, and charges for broadcasters screening sedentary sports.

"So lying on the couch watching other people run round a rugby paddock is OK but lying on the couch watching motor racing isn't? Yeah right. It's a nonsense," Mrs Rich says.

"Of course, the growing level of obesity in New Zealand is a worrying problem. But lets not pretend that taxing broadcasters, programmes or TV watchers is going to get close to being a solution.

"Proposers need to explain how a 'television viewer tax' would be enforced. A new couch potato police force to track down and capture non-payers? It's obvious that no thought has been given to the practicality of some of these dopey ideas," says Mrs Rich.

"Television Broadcasters' Council executive director Bruce Wallace got it dead right when he described this report as 'radical codswallop' and other New Zealanders should join him in condemning the social engineering.

"The state-owned Television New Zealand is already shedding staff and trimming budgets under the Government's 'Charter'.

"The Labour Government must resist the temptation to do more damage to our broadcasting industry by further meddling," Mrs Rich says.

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