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Activist Academics Repeat Call for Soda Tax

Activist Academics Repeat Call for Soda Tax

Reacting to the call for soda taxes from University of Auckland Professor Boyd Swinburn, and University of Otago Associate Professor, Nick Wilson, 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."

“There is no doubt that we have an obesity problem in New Zealand. But health academics too often ignore the economic evidence 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 soda won’t stop people from over-indulging."

ENDS

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