Should the Government introduce a sugar tax?

Valued Contributor

Should the Government introduce a sugar tax?


Reknowned Australian journalist, presenter and author Peter Fitzsimons published a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald this week, imploring the Australian Government to introduce a sugar tax.


"There is nothing so powerful,” that great French fullback Victor Hugo once said, “as an idea whose time has come.” Enter, stage right, an Australian sugar tax – putting an impost on processed products overladen with sugar. The logic is irrefutable:

  1. Overconsumption of sugar is not only causing an obesity epidemic throughout our brown and pleasant land but also causing a shocking increase in such diseases as Type 2 Diabetes.
  2. As a country, as a community, we therefore need to both reduce that consumption and find a way to pay for the soaring health costs.
  3. International best practice is to introduce a sugar tax, which accomplishes three things: discourages the consumption of sugar-laden products; raises revenue now from those who will be using the hospital wards in the future; and encourages manufacturers to lower their sugar content."

This follows on from a segment that appeared on Four Corners this week - you can view it and read the transcript, over here.


Cancer Council has long advocated for the introduction of a tax on sugar. Indeed research by Cancer Council NSW supports that it would actually boost our economy:


"...the study estimates that over the lifetime of the adult Australian population, the tax would translate into productivity gains of $750 million just in the paid work sector, and another $1,170 million worth of volunteer work and other unpaid work."


What are your thoughts?


Should there be a tax on sugar?

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