Sugar Tax to pay for free dental


Free dental from a wealth tax is great if the wealth tax works.

The Greens have set the targets too low on their wealth Tax, where as Grant Robertson and David Parker’s Wealth tax is better, but the Greens could find a place to gain the extra revenue for free dental with a sugar tax.

The Māori Party want to remove GST off all supermarket food, which can be done WHILE increasing a 10% fizzy drink tax.

Ringfence a sugar tax revenue for Dental and you promote better oral health while forcing Big Sugar to pay for the damage their product causes.

it’s time to seriously consider a sugar tax because the University of Otago are pretty damning in their conclusion

A sugary drink tax will have a number of impacts/benefits including:

1. A price signal to the consumer to reduce consumption (makes an impact reduce obesity rates by around 1%, not massive but has an impact
2. A price signal to the industry to reformulate (i.e. reduce sugar content to move products down a tier). The health gain from this mechanism is probably twice that of the price signal to the consumer.
3. The incentives on industry to change marketing to less sugary drinks.

The researchers also refute a recent New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) report that argues against taxing sugary drinks. “This report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, has some serious flaws,” says Professor Blakely.

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“There have been at least nine good studies including a thoroughly researchedAustralian Grattan Institute report. Unfortunately the NZIER chose to include only one of the studies,” says Blakely.

Blakely says a soft drinks industry levy is something that could be put in place right now in New Zealand and would not tip the apple cart in light of macro-level rebalancing of our total tax system.

The World Health Organization recommends taxing sugary drinks. And here in New Zealand, the NZ Medical Association and the Heart Foundation recommend taxing sugary drinks.

…big sugar (and big oil) have had it too good for too long – the time is now to start taxing them!

Expect a fight, but it’s the courageous thing to do. Remove GST, put on a sugar tax on soft drinks.

Use the existing systems to generate economic justice and better societal outcomes.

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  1. Martyn – Both Te Pati Maori and Greens will be overruled by “Captain’s call” Labour over Sugar tax

  2. As far as dental care goes, sugar is only one of the main offenders. Any carbohydrate stuck in your teeth will promote decay.
    According to a retired dentist friend, one of the scourges of the underclass is mums feeding their babies soft drink in a bottle instead of milk and even worse, leaving the kid over night with a bottle. Thus, ensuring the baby’s teeth are exposed to acidic, sugary solution for hours on end. He’s done ‘full clearances’ (all teeth removed) for kids at age 11, poor little sods.

    • yes, a soft-drink tax is middle class paternalism.

      It’s not like the PMC are big consumers of soft-drinks so it won’t affect them – but the tax targets something the middle aged and middle class disapprove of, and it can be dressed up as something done to young and poor parents for their own good.

      • That is THE big issue everyone tries to ignore.

        Over several decades we have created a social system whereby solo motherhood/men shooting through is financially incentivized when we should have been incentivizing the nuclear family. Both major parties are guilty in this regard: Labour for promoting these well-intentioned but corrosive incentives and National for not having the balls to tackle it.

        • It’s not an “ either/or” situation, but you do dump on single mothers a lot. Motherhood is not a walk in the park, and it’s the irresponsible males who should be called to account here. A man who abandons his own offspring isn’t fit to be called a man. Nor does everybody ignore it, decent people compensate one way or another for the negligence of such swine.

          • 1 child ok a mistake
            2 kids ok another mistake
            6 kids you can’t take care of by 7 different fathers
            …..sorry zero sympathy

    • Not just soft drink but good old fruit juice. As you say, it’s not just sugar and a decent rinse with a glass of water will do almost as much as a quick clean.

      Rotten teeth come from laziness.

      Maybe instead of altered maori history lessons and gender diversity training in primary schools we go back to the good old days and teach our children to look after their own health.

      • Gary Peters. Spot on. Back to the days when schools had home science, and home-craft, and cooking, and nutrition classes. Nutrition used to be a component of the School Certificate General Science examination paper. Then along came NCEA, and all the alternative stuff like crystal gazing and beautician-ology.

        Some children may not have the opportunity to establish simple hygiene routines like tooth brushing when parents are working several low-paid jobs, with one exiting as the other arrives home from work, and quite high morning stress levels. There was a time when some schools had finger-nail inspections, but that could be a human rights issue now. Anything can be.

        Gender diversity classes per se, can bring understanding, but it’s the current genderID ideology confusing and prematurely sexualising very young children, which has such a huge potential to cause real health and societal damage. How the the Ministry of Education can justify prioritising an ideology over useful proven science which does benefit people has yet to be explained.

    • Andrew. There is no way that a baby’s mouth can, or will stay clamped to a bottle for hours on end. It just doesn’t happen. Even on the breast it doesn’t happen: they may comfort nuzzle, and even chew, or do a little reflex suck, but little mouths and little faces do not stay still all thru’ the night the way that, for instance, a drunken man’s might. The baby who stays obligingly still for a solution to drip in for “ hours on end, “ has not yet been invented. Your “ underclass “ fantasising once again showcases your ignorance more than you may realise.

    • 100% correct. All carbohydrates are metabolically identical to sugar. A tax on bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, flour products (e.g. pies and pizza) etc is what is actually called for.

  3. Mathematics and business social compliances are not highly thought of skills here with removing GST.

    As for a sugar tax – I agree with Martyn on this one.

  4. Why only the beverage industry? To lower healthcare costs and improve productivity, you want a situation where meat/poultry/fish and green vegetables are very cheap, and things like cane sugar and the grains are not.

    The food industry would be forced to stop packing their products full of sugar, corn syrup and cheap fillers, and start innovating to use low-calorie artificial sweetening, protein-based flour substitutes, etc. The continuing collapse of local grocery manufacturing can also be averted by applying tariffs to related imported products.

    Also, why is anyone defending the G.S.T. at all? The labour movement was always against this regressive tax, which the public never supported in the first place.

    • indeed baked beans are not a dessert try a tin of watties baked beans and watties english recipie ones (new product I belive..just to taste the diffrerence after trying the nz ones I never had beans on toast the nz ones are so appalling and stacked with sugar

      • Gagarin Ditto New Zealand cranberry sauce, and jams. Watery, sugary and disgusting. I make my own marmalade and chutneys, there is usually only one decent brand of chutney available here, imported from India. As a world class chutney maker I view sugar taxes with some disquiet; sugars, especially glucose, and I suppose fructose, do have dietary value. Glucose drinks were wonderful for nursing mothers’ energy levels, glucose barley sugars for unwell kiddies. Supermarkets trollies loaded with bottles of fizzy drinks and packets of crisps are no healthier than the ubiquitous apologies of pizzas beloved by wee Bill English. It’s a pity that free apples in schools were abolished by the National government. Good little tooth cleaners they were.

        An apple a day keeps the doctor away, not that they come nowadays, or are even readily available in the way that they used to be.

      • This is because of the sugar tax in the UK .Once it was introduced the sugar quickly was reduced and the tax take was well down on expectations from the government boffins . I read somewhere that the sugar was replaced by fat but do not know any facts

        • Trevor. That’s interesting, the Brits taxing sugar, but not taxing foodstuffs, or toiletries, or children’s clothing. It looks as if they care more about their citizens than our sausage roll and chocolate munchers do.

          In this country, judges’ children apparently benefit from a tax payer funded school uniform allowance, while the hungry children of the poor shiver in imported tat from China, taxed to fill government coffers and subsidise the school uniforms for the children of the rich. Wicked.

        • not as much fat if any as a tin of nz corned beef…I usually shave the sides before even attempting to use it.

    • Exactly.
      The public wanted Jim Andertons Financial transactions tax but the banks and finance institutions wouldn’t play ball so we got landed with GST which let the finances houses off the hook.

  5. Potentially good environmental results, too, from reducing sugarcane planting, not that the effects will be felt too. I’m all for it (in an ideal world I’d support a tax on carbohydrates in food), but there are potential negative consequences if it pushes people towards drinks with dodgy artificial sweeteners instead.

  6. Um sugar free soft drinks are just as acidic and just as bad. The problem here is peoples oral hygeine is crap. Brushing and flossing makes a big difference.

  7. so funny, the poor who consume most of the cheap sugary drinks will pay via their sugary drinks for the dental care they can’t afford. Yeah, right Tui.
    The issue with the left at this point is that taxes and taxing some perceived non contributer is all they have. No other ideas in their heads. Let us just tax something or someone.

    • RB they have no idea how to deliver a prosperous economy a prerequisite to deliver for all New Zealanders. They have only one weapon and that’s to tax and tax.
      The current Labour Government are not fit to govern we have the proof,6 years of making things worse,

    • Bollocks. Luxon and Seymour say use tolls to build roads! What’s the difference? If there is no effective alternative transport/route a toll is a tax by another name. But no one points this out. As I have said before they freak about government borrowing, presumably because the tax payer has to pay for it, but happy to suggest you pay a toll to some super fund or foreign entity that will probably want a higher return.

      • If you don’t use the road you are not paying that toll. For a starter. But you want to take the only drink many people on no income can actually afford, sugary sweet drink at a dollar the two liters, and you want to price that out of their hands because our government is unable to foster the training of dentists, dental hygienists, doctors etc.

        If you use a toll road you pay for it, if you don’t want to use the expensive road, you use the free one.

  8. If we can believe the NZ Beverage Council “fizzy” drinks make up only 4% of the beverages we consume every year (water 27%, followed by coffee tea and milk) and we only spend $284m.(on all fizzy including i guess zero sugar options) So even a 100% tax wouldn’t raise much but it might reduce consumption. But you could still buy a no brand 1.25 litre cola for $2.
    Dental care might be free up to age 18 but removing all of the ‘murder houses’ from schools destroyed dental care for those who need it most.

  9. Just like tobacco excise does already, a sugar tax would hit the poorest really hard where it hurts the most – their pocket. There are other incentives besides tax to achieve things.

    • Or just like tobacco you consume a whole lot less. Recent info suggests smoking rates in Māori women are plummeting. I am sure there’s a vape role in that but messaging and the fact that cigarettes cost a fortune probably helps.

    • Totally agree the poorest will be the hardest hit.
      Unfortunately Labour don’t have the wherewithal to do anything except tax.The Greens have the same limitations.

  10. It would be nice to see the Greens and TPM suggest their ideas get paid for by increase productivity rather than taxing the rich who get rich by increasing production in their businesses.
    If heaven forbid Greens get in power and push this policy of higher tax to pay for free dental then they will be taking from the dentists to pay them for their work .
    How would they decide this payment .Would a dentist in Gore get the same as a dentist in Auckland or Wellington.

    • ‘by increasing production in their business’ do me a favour trev that’s not how capital accumilation works this isn’t the 1950s

  11. We’re venturing into Nanny State territory?

    Just stop using sugar and sugar products yah fat fucks! 🙂

  12. All carbohydrates (i.e. potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, etc) are made from complex sugars. Within 20-30 minutes, your glucose level spikes exactly the same as it would after eating straight sugar. There is no real metabolic difference between sweet sugars and complex carbohydrates. So unless this tax is also put on ALL carbohydrates (not just sugar) then there will not be a positive health outcome from this policy. BTW, there is no such thing “essential carbohydrates”, and you can consume zero of them and suffer no negative health issues (in fact you’ll only suffer positive health benefits in the form of moderate weight loss.

    • Comrade – you are of course correct about the mechanics of biological reaction to carbohydrates, but with all due respect, your comparison is utterly misjudged and misguided, because the difference between fizzy drinks and potatoes, rice, pasta and pies is that the drink can be consumed far easier by drinking it than food can be consumed!

      You understand the biological mechanics of sugar, but you aren’t considering the ease with which you can drink sugar compared to eating it. Fizzy drinks are far worse than those foods and as such should get taxed hard

      • if people work in shithouse low pay jobs and kark it before they collect their pension pollies see that as a win.

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