1 Comment

  1. Kieran’s argument here applies equally to exise on tobacco & alcohol. Does he oppose them, as well?

    Now, while I’m definitely in favour of hitting junk food companies where it hurts, I’m not so critical of a sugar tax. While not actually advocating it, I would refrain from opposing it if there were sufficient compensation paid to people on Centrelink benefits.

    ABS conducts the Household Expenditure Survey, which provides very detailed information about the expenditure patterns of the many & varied household types, across all income brackets, in Australia. It is able to calculate the impact of price &/or taxation changes for people on Centrelink benefits, and has done so several times in the past. If the sugar tax were to increase their cost of living by (say) $5/fortnight, pensions & allowances could be increased by $10/fortnight and the Government would still be well ahead because of all the sugar consumed by people in waged work.

    If it was done, I’d favour a sugar tax as an exise, imposed on all sugar manufactured in or imported into Australia and on the added sugar content of imported processed foods & drink. Treat it just like alcohol, tobacco & petrol exise. That way, it would capture all dietary added sugar, not just sugary drinks.

    As Kieran has noted, the Greens have missed the class-biased nature of their proposal. As such, I would oppose it unless it was modified along the lines I’ve suggested above. But I don’t expect the current Government to do anything about it. This mob still accepts donations from tobacco companies, so I won’t be holding my breath waiting for them to take any measures which might affect demand for the product of capitalists operating sugar farms or sugar processing factories.


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