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Government's sugar tax report bad news for nanny staters

Government's sugar tax report bad news for nanny staters


The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says a Government-commissioned NZIER report on sugar taxes debunks popular justification for sugar taxes.

The report, which was only released to the NZ Initiative’s Eric Crampton after a prompt from the Ombudsman, slams the effectiveness of sugar taxes and reveals major flaws in the studies promoted by the nanny state lobby.

The report’s conclusions:
- The impact of sugar taxes on sugary drink consumption is overstated.
- Existing studies do not properly address the issue of people switching to other sources of sugar or calories.
- No studies of real-life examples can demonstrate improvements to actual health outcomes.

Taxpayers' Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “The report concludes by reminding the Government that taxes inflict real financial harm. If politicians are to wilfully make people poorer, they need bloody good evidence to justify it. In the case of sugar taxes, this expert report makes clear that the evidence does not exist.”

“Public health activists would have you believe that opposition to sugar tax is driven by big business and ideology. In truth, it’s the pro-tax lobby that ignores evidence in favour of pursuing a tired, authoritarian agenda.”

“The fact the Ombudsman had to prod the Ministry of Health into releasing this report is a real concern. The role of the public service is to provide expert advice, not to hide reports like this when it doesn’t fit a pro-tax agenda.”


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