NZ Treasure Backs Sugar Tax

November 25, 2015 New Zealand Taxation

Evidence prepared earlier this shows that taxes on sugary drinks would have an impact on obesity rates in New Zealand, especially among low-income earners.

On November 19th the Treasury released a report on the potential feasibility of implementing several measures aimed at tackling the country’s growing obesity problem.

The tax measures examined in the report include a sugar tax, a fat tax, and the removal of GST on fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Treasury found that academic evidence shows that a tax on the sale of sugar laden beverages will lead to a reduction in the rate of obesity in the country.

It was noted that those opposing the tax have claimed that the tax will exert a disproportionately heavy effect on low-income earners, but it was also noted that low-income earners experience a higher rate of obesity, and the tax would have a very positive effect.

However, it was also noted that there is no strong evidence to show that dropping tax on fruits and vegetables will have a direct impact on obesity, although it should improve overall health.

It was also noted that while there is evidence that a tax on foods with saturated fats will improve obesity rates, the implementation of the tax would prove too difficult.

The new report was initially prepared in February this year, although its release was only a result of Official Information request.

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