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Proposed sugar tax labelled ‘a grandstanding stunt’

Article image for Proposed sugar tax labelled ‘a grandstanding stunt’

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is calling for a sugar tax in an attempt to reduce obesity, but the push has raised questions on whether the tax will solve the problem.

Someone who has criticised the AMA and their decision is the former advisor to the Howard Government Terry Barnes.

“They’ve become an activist organisation on a whole range of trendy and lefty causes.

“Once upon a time when I worked with the AMA, you could actually do business with them.”

Mr Barnes says the current AMA has become “much more militant, much more political and much more blatantly partisan”.

He tells Chris Kenny the sugar tax is not the answer.

“Spending other people’s money through the taxation system is not always the go.”

In countries where there is a sugar tax, according to Mr Barnes, “[it’s] made little or no dent on soft drift consumption.”

“In Australia, per capita, soft drink and sugary consumption is actually falling. It doesn’t need a sugar tax to kick it along.”

“Effectively it’s a grandstanding stunt.”

Listen to the full interview below

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