New Zealand Rules Out Sugar Tax

June 29, 2015 Taxation in New Zealand

WELLINGTON – The government of New Zealand hopes that education will be a more effective tool for fighting obesity than taxation.

In a media interview over the weekend the Minister of Health of New Zealand Jonathan Coleman reconfirmed that the government does not intend to implement a new tax on the sale of sugary drinks.

Researchers in the country have previously proposed that the sale of sugar-laden beverages should be levied with a tax of 20 percent in an effort to reduce consumption of such drinks and help combat obesity and other diet related disease.

The Health Minister conceded that some action needs to be taken to address the growing health problems, however, the focus will be on tightening the rules for advertising, while encouraging greater levels of dietary education and exercise.

However, soon following the interview the leader of the Labour party Andrew Little claimed that tax hikes on sugary drinks have already had a demonstrably positive effect in other countries, such as Mexico, where a recent hike has reduced consumption, especially among low-income individuals.

Photo By: Melissa Wiese