Today the TU has been vindicated in its criticism.
“The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming today's acknowledgement from anti-sugar group head, Gerhard Sundborn, that "Fizz" is not a science organisation but rather an "advocacy group" pushing an agenda for sugar taxes and other restrictions on consumer choice.”
FIZZ is the latest in a long line of nanny state ‘health’ police that, on the pretext of knowing what’s good for us, want to raise taxes. This time the object of their lobbying is to make us all pay more tax for eating sugar or consuming sugary drinks.
Here is the TU media release exposing the waste of our money by government agencies on unethical lobby groups.
The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for more accountability from those using taxpayer money to scaremonger and lobby for sugar taxes after the campaign group “Fizz” refused to disclose how much taxpayer money its campaign is swallowing. Taxpayers’ UnionExecutive Director, Jordan Williams, says:
“Despite their claims of academic transparency, the group is refusing to disclose the amount of taxpayer support it has received from the numerous government funded bodies listed on its website."
“The agenda and list of attendees confirms the suspicion that rather than achieving scientific balance this group is preaching to a choir of taxpayer funded campaigners. Despite claiming to be about science the speakers' topics are focused at political campaigning for a sugar tax. Last year they even flew-in fat kids from America to talk about obesity in front of media.”
Last year the Taxpayers’ Union exposed the Fizz group for falsely claiming the support of the New Zealand Health Research Council for its equivalent pro-sugar tax conference. In July the Taxpayers’ Union briefing paper on sugar taxes, Fizzed Out: Why a sugar tax won’t curb obesity, is available for download here.
It’s key findings were:
· Only 1.6 per cent of New Zealanders' total energy intake comes from the added sugar content of sugar sweetened non-alcoholic beverages
· New Zealanders' consumption of sugar and sugar sweetened beverages is trending downward
· New Zealanders are still getting fatter despite consuming less calories, suggesting that we’re not burning as many calories
· Sugar taxes hurt the poor and do not result in the decreased consumption tax-supporters claim
· Similar taxes overseas have not worked - Mexico’s tax on soda resulted in no decrease in consumption, despite recent claims to the contrary by New Zealand campaigners
This is supposed to be a government of the centre right that talks about reducing the size of the nanny state but in reality is using our money to promote the opposite.
The Taxpayers Union does us all a great service by exposing how government wastes our money on fatuous scaremongering lobby groups that lack any ethical basis.
Associated blogs and links
Sugar police fizzing with excitement over proposed tax
Fat and fattening - exploding the myths