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Sugar Tax Debate: More Alarmist Statements

Sugar Tax Debate: More Alarmist Statements From Activist Academics

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the taxpayer funded political advocacy by a group of academics featured on TV3’s The Nation this weekend. Their efforts to promote a sugar tax appear to be politically motivated rather than based on science. Sugar and similar fat taxes around the world have failed to curb obesity and have turned into revenue gathering tools.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:
"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 cola won’t reduce obesity. The overseas experience tells us that it just leads to compensatory purchasing and brand switching."

In the item, Dr Gerhard Sundborn stated that fizzy drinks have similarities to tobacco.

“These are extremist statements from Dr Sundborn,” says Williams. "Remember that these are the group of academics that falsely claimed to have the endorsement of the Health Research Council of New Zealand for their recent 'Fizz' conference. It’s not surprising that people willing to mislead the public are promoting activist science and sugar taxes that have failed around the world.”

“There is no doubt that we have an obesity problem in New Zealand. The evidence is that taxing an inelastic product won’t affect the consumption of those consuming too much. Tap water is free, but people still choose to pay for bottled water. A tax on Coke and Pepsi won’t stop people from over indulging."


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