New Zealand Needs Sugar Taxes, Prime Minister Told

September 13, 2018 Taxation in New Zealand

sugar taxWELLINGTON – New Zealand’s Prime Minister has received direct advice to implement a sugar tax and start a greater campaign to fight obesity.

A new document provided to the Prime Minister of New Zealand and made public via an Official Information request is pushing for the implementation of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in New Zealand.

The document was authored by the Ministry of Health’s chief science advisor Dr John Potter, and was initiated at the request of the Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden.

It was set out that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in New Zealand has increased in recent years, and may continue to do so in the near future.

The author claimed that recent academic studies around the world have provided an indication that a tax based on the sugar levels in a drink can result in reduced consumption levels, especially among low-income households.

Explaining the impact that the tax could have in New Zealand Dr John Potter said that “…reduction of consumption via a tax will probably be greatest among the households with the lowest disposable income. In New Zealand, M?ori and Pacific will benefit strongly.”

However, the sugar tax was not the only actionable suggestion for the government, as Dr John Potter said that it would serve as an “anchor” in a wider strategy to combat obesity and related illnesses.

Other suggested actions included greater education on diets, the creation of safer biking routes, and greater restrictions on marketing of unhealthy goods.