Salt Tax Proposed in New Zealand

May 4, 2015 Taxation in New Zealand

WELLINGTON – Calls have been raised in New Zealand to tax salt like tobacco.

On May 5th the University of Otago issued a statement showing that researchers at the institute are calling for an excise tax to be enacted on salt, in order to improve the health and lifestyles of New Zealanders.

It is estimated that the average New Zealander currently consumes 3500 mg of sodium a day, with only 10 percent coming as added salt, while the remainder comes from the salt added to processed foods during the manufacturing stage.

The researchers evaluated the possible methods of reducing salt consumption in New Zealand, and found that levying an excise tax on salts would be second most effective option, as it would force manufacturers to lower the use of salt.

It was also added that the tax rate could be raised incrementally to further reduce the use of salt in the future, similarly to the method of raising taxes in tobacco.

If such a tax were to be levied it could result in tax revenues amounting to NZD 450 million, an amount which could be used to offset the costs of additional healthcare programs.

Photo By: Dubravko Sori?