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Dental Association ‘cautiously optimistic’

Dental Association ‘cautiously optimistic’ as Tax Working Group report backs sugary drinks tax

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) is pleased a sugary drinks tax has formed part of the Tax Working Group’s Interim Report released today.

The Tax Working Group (TWG) received many submissions calling for taxes on the consumption of sugar.

The TWG report states that ‘If the Government wishes to reduce the sugar content of particular products, regulation is likely to be more effective. In either case, there is a need to consider taxation alongside other potential policy responses.’

“We have always said that a sugary drinks tax is but one of seven policy responses to reduce the impact on New Zealanders that sugary drinks causes, particularly on oral health,” said NZDA spokesperson Dr Donna Kennedy.

“There is global evidence that a sugary drink tax is effective, easy to implement, and crucially reduces consumption of sugary drinks.

“It’s important that this recommendation makes it to the final report and is strengthened, so it will need public and political support, and we’ve seen already that there is public support to reduce sugary drink harm,” said Dr Kennedy.

The World Health Organization is recommending governments introduce levies on sugary drinks, and the NZDA has included this as one of seven recommended actions to reduce harmful sugary drink consumption.

A consortium of public health groups is backing a NZDA-led seven-point Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks.

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