Australia’s major political parties have poured cold water on introducing a sugar tax after the head of Coca-Cola Amatil suggested such a federal levy was likely.
Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne said people needed to understand drinks including orange juice were full of sugar, but governments had to seriously consider the issue before rushing to intervene.
‘Do you then have a sugar tax on hot drinks, potato chips, lollies, chocolates, dagwood dogs,’ he told the Nine Network on Friday.
‘Sugar in many respects is the enemy of good health, and obesity is one of the major causes of too much sugar intake, but whether governments should be taxing these particular products, where do you draw the line?’
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said there was no doubt Australians were consuming too much sugar and it was important to focus on healthy diets.
‘We also need to look at the impact of taxes, who it’s hitting, and whether it’s hitting working people who are already struggling to make ends meet,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘We would look very cautiously at any proposal.’