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Greens Ignore Evidence in Push for New Taxes on Fast Food

Greens Ignore Evidence in Push for New Taxes on Fast Food

11 April 2014

Responding to Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague's calls for taxation, regulation and legislation on fatty food, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:

"Mr Hague is misleading New Zealanders in saying that evidence supports regulation. The evidence of failure in putting ‘sin taxes’ on products when demand is inelastic is overwhelming. Mr Hague takes no account of what actually happens when these nanny state and high tax policies are tested in the real world."

"Denmark’s tax on saturated fat introduced in 2011 was an economic disaster. The Danish tax was abandoned 15 months later and did little, if anything, to reduce harmful consumption. Worse, it was estimated to have cost 1,300 jobs. Why would New Zealand want to repeat this mistake?"

"Taxing the Kiwi tradition of a warm pie and can of coke won’t reduce obesity. The overseas experience tells us that it just leads to compensatory purchasing and brand switching."

“What’s most disappointing about Mr Hague's comments is that he gives no assurance that other taxes would reduce to compensate Kiwis for a tuck shop tax. Around the world these measures have tended to be about revenue gathering rather than health. Unfortunately it looks like the Greens are falling into the same trap," concludes Mr Williams.

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

ENDS

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