Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has dismissed a Liberal backbencher’s suggestion that a sugar tax should be considered as a means to tackle child obesity.
As the Australian reports, on Monday Victorian MP Russell Broadbent told Parliament a 20 per cent tax on all manufacturers and importers of soft drinks would provide the Government with much needed funds to fight the increased incidence of obesity among children.
However, Joyce (pictured) ruled the proposal of hand, saying such a move would devastate the sugar industry.
“We believe that the sugar industry is an incredibly strong industry, especially for the development of north Queensland,” he said
“I’m always reticent to believe that a tax is a cure for anything.”
As the AFR reports, Nationals MP for Capricornia in North Queensland Michelle Landry, agreed with Joyce and claimed a sugar tax would leave many workers from her electorate, which has two sugar mills, out of work.
However, Landry added that food makers could be put under more scrutiny regarding the amount of sugar they use.
“These manufacturers when they make food they do put a lot of sugar into things, and perhaps they should start being more careful about what ingredients they’ll put into things because there’s a lot of sugar,” she said.