The NZ sugar tax debate: extended version

The Sand Pit

Fairfax has posted a debate between myself and Dr Simon Thornley, a public health physician and spokesperson for the sugar tax lobby group FIZZ. We were asked to give our top 5 points for/against a sugar tax (I think Simon’s points might have been merged to avoid repetition). Here’s a taster but as always, do read the whole piece.

There are certain policies worth experimenting with. If they are of low cost and will not leave the population any worse off, there is no harm in trying. A sugar tax is not one of those policies. No matter which way you cut it, a sugar tax is regressive: people on lower incomes will pay disproportionately more of the tax than people on higher incomes.

We’d originally also been given the opportunity to respond to each other’s points, which in my mind would have made for an even richer debate as it…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at

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