20 May, 2013
Shadow Health Minister, Peter Dutton, called on the Australian National Preventive Health Agency to save taxpayers’ money from being spent on a fat tax proposal that would potentially push up the cost of food for ordinary Australians without guaranteeing better health outcomes.
A so called fat tax could affect a wide range of foods used every day like milk, cheese and meat.
The experience in Denmark showed that ‘in practice, the world’s first fat tax proved to be a cumbersome chore with undesirable side effects’ and ‘meant higher prices for lean sirloin steak as well as for fatty burgers’ (The Economist, 17 November 2012).
“It would put even more pressure on family Budgets which are suffering after years of added cost of living pressures under Labor,” Mr Dutton said.
“The Coalition will not impose a so called fat tax. Our priority is to alleviate cost of living pressures on families, not to add to them.
“The Coalition believes Australians should be informed to make their own decisions that support a healthy lifestyle.
“Minister Plibersek appears to have also ruled out adding this tax to Labor’s catalogue of other imposts on Australian families, so the Australian National Preventive Health Agency should save the hundreds of thousands of dollars this proposal would cost.
“Given Labor’s fiscal chaos, with $1.8 billion cut just in this Budget from Medicare rebates, the Extended Medicare Safety Net and Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset for patients, there would be little justification for the bureaucracy to be spending taxpayers’ money on a proposal that would not be implemented,” Mr Dutton said.
Media contact: Tom Fleming 0437 250 045