Diabetes Sparks Tax Debate

June 30, 2011 New Zealand Taxation

GST on Fruits and VegetablesThe Labour Party and the Green party are teaming up in support of new tax incentives which would lead to New Zealanders to have healthier diets and purchase more fruits and vegetables.

According to conclusions drawn in new research published by the World Health Organization, New Zealand has one of the highest rates of diabetes sufferers in the world. The report has prompted Labour Party leader Phil Goff to stand up in renewed support of cutting the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on fresh fruits and vegetables.

At a press conference held in Wellington on the same day, Grant Robertson, health spokesperson for Labour, said that that the National party’s refusal to cut GST fro fruits and vegetables “exposes the folly of the Government’s refusal to promote healthy eating policies”. He added that the newest study on diabetes provides concrete evidence on the government’s inaction towards the “diabetes epidemic”.

Adding his opinion on the topic, Jim Anderton, leader of the Progressive Party, insisted that a new levy be charged on sugary drinks, so as to raise greater money for diabetes programs. He added,”…without a levy, everyone has to pay more tax to the health system to help pay for diabetes treatment.” All parties involved in the support of tax measures to fight diabetes have shown interest in backing a public program to help fight obesity and related health issues.

Photo by marcp_dmoz