Food Taxes Will Save Australian Lives
February 16, 2017 Taxation in Australia
Implementing taxes on unhealthy foods and introducing subsidies on fruits and vegetables in Australia could save lives, billions in expenditure, while costing taxpayers and consumers virtually nothing, according to the results of a new study published on February 14th in the international Medical PLOS Medical.
The study evaluated the combined and individual effects of implementing taxes on fat, salt, sugar, and sugar-sweetened beverages, and also implementing subsidies on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Individually, a sugar tax was the most effective measure, followed by a salt tax, a saturated fat tax, and, lastly, a tax on sugary drinks.
It was noted that while a subsidy on fresh fruits and vegetables would ultimately reduce spending on healthcare, the measure did not appear to have any clear and statistically significant health benefits for consumers.
If all the potential measures were implemented at their optimal rates, and also controlled to ensure that consumers spending does not need to rise by more than 1 percent above current levels, the Australian healthcare system would see a reduction in expenditures of approximately AUD 3.4 billion over the course of the lives of every Australian alive in 2010.