Unhealthy food tax on the agenda
Thu, 13 Dec 2012 8:59a.m.
By 3 News online staff
Taxing fatty foods and fizzy drinks and subsidising fruit and vegetables could improve the diet and health of the nation.
That's the view of researchers who've reviewed more than 30 international studies on how food prices affect purchasing decisions.
Auckland University researcher Helen Eyles says food pricing is the key factor in the decision-making process.
She says similar taxes in Denmark and France have seen changes in people’s food-buying habits – but that subsidies can also cause further problems with people using their savings to buy unhealthy foods – and the science sector must continue to look into the issue.
“Our role as scientists is to provide the best evidence possible,” she told Firstline this morning.
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27/12/2012 2:20:59 p.m.
Daniel Lang wrote:
I agree with the proposed tax but it needs to be brought in, in a moderate way, first before any drastic measures are taken. I am reminded of the parable about the man who stuck his hand in boiling water and thought the pain would stop if it stuck it in freezing cold water.
22/12/2012 1:10:35 p.m.
Looks like "Nanny State New Zealand" is now about to form it's own food police. Be very careful who you invite to dinner as they could be a 'good agent' and you could in up in court by serving fatty food and sugary desserts. I just have one question: When they talk about taxing fizzy drinks, does that include champagne?
19/12/2012 8:18:58 p.m.
This is absurd, lets punish the good responsible citizen again who eats the target food groups in moderation and don't gain weight. We shouldn't have to pay more for the simple luxuries in life in a futile effort to change behaviour of those who don't have any will power to help themselves.
16/12/2012 9:53:59 a.m.
So calls to bring back individual sales taxes which are a nightmare to run, and suck up a fortune in runing costs?GST is one good thing Labour did, as GST is a consumption tax and very hard to avoid, plus it brings in more money than income taxes from businesses, a lot more money. One reason is busesss dont make much profit, as revenue is not profit, and GST is a consumption tax so will always be larger.We will have loopholes aplenty. Eg milk may be subsidised, and with it flavoured milk? Frozen milk, Yoghurt? Icecream? Coffee (when milk added)? Chocolate (it contains milk)? The lines get blurred and every bit of drawing a line will cost, as will businesses having to implement such a nightmare. Different rates of GST on different goods? Thats back to our old sales tax system which was a nightmare and full of loopholes.Reality is healthy food in NZ is already cheap, its the Poverty Growth Group (PGG) who want to increase handouts to buy the so-called poverty vote, while actually increasing its numbers for more electrol power. Kathy a vocal member who is always asking for more handouts to help grow the poverty problem. PGG dont want educating people out of poverty, as they want more living in so-called poverty, while they call for handouts to help buy votes.
15/12/2012 10:30:23 a.m.
It's an interesting idea. I think the emphasis should perhaps be on individual responsibility though. In my family, we used to have takeaways two or three times a week. Five years on, it has been reduced to once every three weeks. It has nothing to do with financial reasons, it is a choice that was made solely because of health and wellbeing reasons in a democratic gradual way with no drama about it. So personal responsibility is a biggie. I agree with Kathy that healthy food should be subsidised and so it is therefore sensible that unhealthy food is taxed but I would onlt like to see that happen at a reasonable rate because I don't want to see any small businesses to flounder. Tax of 10% on unhealthy food (on top of GST) and a reduction in the GST for fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and standard poultry products from 15% to 5% would probably be my ideals.
14/12/2012 9:05:52 a.m.
@ David, what about kids? they dont get a choice! I agree that if adults want to eat crap its up to them but this will help families to buy cheaper healthy food which can only be a good thing. There should be no such thing as an obese child but unfortunately they are everywhere abd for the simple reason that their parents are lazy and dont actualy care about their kids health! if parents raise obese children then the kids should be taken off them and the parents should be locked up!
13/12/2012 12:37:29 p.m.
With a National Party in the suggestion to tax unhealthy food may be taken up.
But subsidising healthy food? never going to happen with John Key in power.
He'll love the idea of extra taxation... hate the idea of giving anything back.
13/12/2012 11:27:22 a.m.
These scientists should butt out of the lives of individuals. If people want to eat themselves fat, it is their choice and responsibility.
13/12/2012 10:33:45 a.m.
This is a fantastic idea and should have been introduced years ago. The only downfall is that lazy parents will always be lazy parents, even now there is no excuse for not feeding your kids healthy food, some parents just dont care enough about their kids to cook them a propper healthy dinner.
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