Australia Treasurer Joe Hockey has moved to head off a damaging fight with Australia's mining industry, assuring them there will not be any cuts to the diesel fuel rebate in next Tuesday's budget. Leaked confidential correspondence between top mining chief executives, obtained by the ABC, reveals deep anxiety within the resources sector. Their concerns are shared by members of the Coalition, who warn any reduction to the multi-billion-dollar tax credit would have a devastating impact on farmers.
Whilst theoretical modelling might point to taxes as a solution, in reality these punitive measures are ineffective, inefficient and unfair for a range of reasons. Added sugar consumption declining This was coupled with a reduction in sales of nutritively sugar sweetened beverages by 64 million litres from to and a reduction in percentage of children consuming sugar-sweetened beverages between and The implication is that efforts to reduce sugar intake may reduce consumption but may not reduce the prevalence of obesity.
Nutrition and Dietetics ; In the concept of the total diet, soft drinks represent a relatively small portion of dietary kilojoules.
A recent secondary analysis of the Australian Health Survey conducted by the CSIRO shows that across the population, soft drinks contributed just 1. Similar taxes in other countries have failed… Often, proponents of such taxes cite the success of such schemes in other countries.
Unfortunately, similar taxes have not been a success, but have failed. The negative impact on jobs, inflation and administrative costs on businesses, as well as the distinct lack of an impact on consumption patterns, dietary habits and therefore overweight and obesity were the main reasons for rescinding the tax.
The purpose of these taxes on foods considered high in fat, sugar and salt was to improve public health. However, the EC study published in June found that the taxes have led instead to: Increased administrative costs Reduced jobs in some cases Higher food prices No discernible improvement to public health This study makes clear that no solid evidence was found that the discriminatory excise taxes improved public health.
This study also found that the taxes are implicated in increased costs, job losses and declining profits to businesses. Ina soft drinks tax was introduced in Mexico. Whilst it is still too early to determine the full, long term impact of this tax on obesity levels in the country, what is apparent is that since it was introduced, the tax is hitting the poorest people the hardest and having negligible impact on calorie intake.
It is estimated that in Mexico, the source of calories coming from soft drinks had initially reduced by 6. In the concept of an average daily dietary intake of 3, calories, this reduction represents just 0. In Mexico for example, research has shown that Families faced with a price increase in one product, like soft drinks, could potentially reallocate aspects of the grocery spend to accommodate the rise at the expense of other items such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
Such taxes are regressive and impact most on the people who can least afford it. The implied rationale behind introducing a tax such as those on tobacco or fuel is ostensibly to reduce consumption. This trend shows consumers are choosing more lower kilojoule options to suit their lifestyle.
A national poll of 2, Australians found that unequivocally, people saw education programs about a healthy diet and physical activity as both the most effective way to address overweight and obesity, and the most supported.
Those measures to address overweight and obesity viewed as the least effective and least supported were a tax on soft drinks 8th out of 9 and restrictions by Government on where parents can give their children soft drinks 9th out 9.
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Improving the nutrition and eating habits of Australians must become a priority for all levels of government. Governments should consider the full complement of measures available to them to support improved nutrition, ranging from increased nutrition education and food literacy programs, through to.
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Editor's note (15/2/): A previous version of this story, incorrectly citing the research, suggested a sugar tax would add years to the life of an average Australian, and a . What Makes a Species ‘More’ or ‘Less’ Sustainable? ‘Sustainability’ is a very hard thing to define, especially when it relates to seafood.