Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald has dismissed claims of a sugar tax as scare-mongering and an insult to people’s intelligence.
“A sugar tax will not stop people from consuming sugar, and sugar is not the only contributing factor to the prevalence of diabetes in our communities,” Senator Macdonald said.
Senator Macdonald was responding to claims from Professor Stephen Colagiuiri, who suggested Australia needed to consider a tax on sugar to tackle the diabetes epidemic.
“As a nation, we do not need to become a ‘nanny state’ and tell people how they should be living their lives. Furthermore, the sugar industry is the backbone of this country, and any additional tax would have a crippling effect on an industry that has already been subjected to undue criticism in the past,” Senator Macdonald said.
Senator Macdonald said the sugar industry contributes between $1.5 to $2.5 billion to the national economy every year*.
“A tax on sugar is yet another tax on the livelihoods of primary producers whose industry forms the backbone of our national economy,” Senator Macdonald said.
“There is no doubt chronic health conditions such as diabetes and obesity impact heavily on our national health budget, but another tax is not the answer.”
*Source: Queensland Farmers Federation