Calls Rise for Sugar Tax in New Zealand

January 17, 2018 Taxation in New Zealand

sugar taxWELLINGTON – New Zealand’s sugar-laden drinks industry is facing calls for a sugar tax to help alleviate the country’s obesity problem.

New research published this week in New Zealand shows that the sugar-sweetened drinks in the country have a much higher sugar content compared to their counterparts in the UK, Australia or Canada, leading researchers to renew their call for a tax on such drinks.

It was shown that approximately 52 percent of drinks purchased in NZ contained sugar, while in the UK, Canada, and Australia the portions were 9 percent, 42.8 percent, and 42.2 percent respectively.

Along with having a high portion of sweetened drinks being sold, the beverages in New Zealand also have a very high sugar content, in some cases being 50 percent more than their overseas alternatives.

The researchers used the data to call for the government to implement a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, saying that New Zealand has a significant rate of obesity which is fuelled by very high levels of sugar consumption.

No suggestions were made on the size of exact technical details of such a tax, but it was noted that other countries around the world impose a tax on the final sale of the product or on the manufacturers.

It was noted that a tax on the sale is likely to impact consumers, especially low-income consumers, while a tax on manufacturers would encourage the re-formulation of beverages to contain less sugar.