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macuser
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  #542846 8-Nov-2011 21:38
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Vege stalls are great, but not as common outside of larger centers, and if so, they are further away, so may negate any benefits on price, I'm a $50 a week food budget man, I buy seasonal ingredients and stay with cheap, whole foods.  I can cook well, so making meals is not a problem.  The most expensive thing in my budget is meat and fruit and mushrooms.  I can't afford to buy milk or any sandwich ingredients, my day consists of poached eggs on toast, left over dinner for lunch and then some pasta based dish for dinner.

I think if people knew how to buy seasonal ingredients, and not splash out on the big brand ingredients, they would put their money a lot further.   15% would be helpful if it included unprepared meats, milk, fruit and veges.  I don't think it would be very hard to administer because as Phil said, the supermarket systems are already running software build for Australia, which has GST off food?

I think it would be pretty clearly defined too, I don't think a preprepared salad should be GST free, because it's preprepared, I think GST should be left to whole foods, of course they can be cleaned and bagged.

It's fairly easy to take a calculator and a shopping list to the supermarket, and just buy whole foods and cook.

I think if you don't have enough time to cook and eat a good meal, you have your priorities mixed up.

That said, I think that the 15% discount would be quickly absorbed by supermarkets, I'm sure they would rather sell processed foods anyway, they don't go off after a week!

sbiddle
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  #542848 8-Nov-2011 21:41
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macuser:  I don't think a preprepared salad should be GST free, because it's preprepared, I think GST should be left to whole foods, of course they can be cleaned and bagged. 

 


So loose mesclun lettuce which is a processed product (ie it's washed and bagged into 3kg bags and then sold lose) won't incur GST, but the same product put into 150g bags by the supplier will attract GST. How is that logical?




 
 
 
 


macuser
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  #542854 8-Nov-2011 21:45
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sbiddle:
macuser:  I don't think a preprepared salad should be GST free, because it's preprepared, I think GST should be left to whole foods, of course they can be cleaned and bagged. 

 


So loose mesclun lettuce which is a processed product (ie it's washed and bagged into 3kg bags and then sold lose) won't incur GST, but the same product put into 150g bags by the supplier will attract GST. How is that logical?





It is when it includes mayo,  croutons and a bunch of other things (those little 'lunch containers').  I think it can easily be defined.  Whole foods, not whole foods.  

sbiddle
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  #542856 8-Nov-2011 21:53
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macuser:
sbiddle:
macuser:  I don't think a preprepared salad should be GST free, because it's preprepared, I think GST should be left to whole foods, of course they can be cleaned and bagged. 

 


So loose mesclun lettuce which is a processed product (ie it's washed and bagged into 3kg bags and then sold lose) won't incur GST, but the same product put into 150g bags by the supplier will attract GST. How is that logical?





It is when it includes mayo,  croutons and a bunch of other things (those little 'lunch containers').  I think it can easily be defined.  Whole foods, not whole foods.  


But Phil Goff says a bag of lettuce will be taxed!

There management of such a policy is an absolute nightmare.

tigercorp
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  #542893 8-Nov-2011 23:43
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Before I start, I'm not having a go at your post, just using it for illustration.  :)

oxnsox: The true test will be in whether the Fat-Tax (which Denmark is the first country to implement I believe) actually has any effect on consumption.


I don't think they are going to be a good case study as its only saturated fats they're not actually taxing it very highly.  IMO 40c on a hamburger isn't going to deter anyone.  
I reckon if its going to be done it should be much higher and encompass sugary and salty foods/drinks as well.  Which includes alcohol *ducks quickly*.

In reality it offers up the same arguements as smoking. Increased tax on tar-bars can be argued to reduce consumption but also increase the funds available for medical care that smokers will use... a user pays arguement.


Agree and its a good thing.

Did putting up the Tax on fags stop the low wage earners smoking??? or did it stop more starting????

We're always looking for a 'quick-fix'. One that shows its working within a tradional parlimentry term. But realisiticly these types of negative incentive taxes seem to take a long time to flow thru.


It only matters that the tax on fags (along with the targeted constant advertising) affected the number of people smoking.  Its not a quick fix for sure, but its a good place to start and once started, a change in government is not likely to revoke such an easy income stream.

nakedmolerat
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  #542904 9-Nov-2011 01:43
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Health system is costing NZ 'too much' - Read National Budget 2012

Obesity is worsening (including childhood obesity) - Read 2010 Obesity report

If nothing is done to curb / prevent obesity, we will be spending a lot more in health system over the years. It is a known fact that obesity leads to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, cancer etc. In 2009, NZ spent 50% of the new money for health - Read Prof Des Gorman presentation - slide 3

Labour see that this is a huge issue that they have to tackle - offering GST free on veges/fruits is a good start. 

Hey, dont expect anything can be changed in weeks or months. It will take years before we see the result. Personally, I see this as an acknowledgement to the problem and the starting point for a battle against obesity. Making fruit/vege GST free in itself is a big promotion.

i found it interesting that people equate McD/KFC (insert whatever fastfood) to obesity. Are they really the culprit for obesity?





SaltyNZ
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  #542920 9-Nov-2011 07:21
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nakedmolerat:

i found it interesting that people equate McD/KFC (insert whatever fastfood) to obesity. Are they really the culprit for obesity?


Not the only one, no. But:

macuser:
I think it can easily be defined.  Whole foods, not whole foods.  


So it's McDs/KFC etc. plus all those other highly processed junk foods masquerading as healthy. Take those fruit rollups for example. They loudly tout "95% REAL FRUIT". What that actually equates to, if you read the nutritional info, is about 90% sugar. So it's not a lie as such, but it's definitely misleading. It might be 95% fruit, but it's the 95% of the fruit that doesn't include all the good stuff.

Breakfast cereals are another one. They market themselves as healthy but are also often extremely high in sugar.

There are whole supermarket aisles full of that kind of rubbish.

Macuser has got it exactly (and we do much the same - I often eat leftover dinner for lunch). Whole foods, not whole foods. Easy.




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These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


 
 
 
 


jonherries
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  #542992 9-Nov-2011 09:58
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So lets get away from taxing just fatty foods, maybe the tax added depends on the proportion of fat/sugar per 100 grams.

Say 1 cent (or more) per percentage point per 100 grams.

So MCD Double Quarter Pounder would be (http://mcdonalds.co.nz/sites/mcdonalds.co.nz/files/images/Nutrition-Information-8-September-2011_0.pdf)

Fat: 1 cent * 17.5% * 2.87 (287 grams)

Saturated Fat  1 cent * 8.7% * 2.87 (287 grams)
+ Sugar 1 cent * 2.4% * * 2.87 (287 grams)

= total tax = 50.23 + 24.97 + 6.89 = 82.09 cents onto the price of the burger.

Avocado

Fat: 1 cent * 14.7% * 1.5 (150 gram serve)

Saturated Fat  1 cent * 2.1% * 1.5 (150 grams)
+ Sugar 1 cent * 0.7% * 1.5 (150 grams)

= total tax = 22.05 + 3.15 + 1.05 = 26.25 cents onto the price of the avocado (adjusting to the same serving size raises this to 50.23 cents)


The more fat/saturated fat/ or sugar the higher the tax.
We could then kill all GST on food, and this would probably cover it with the tax load distributed to the worst foods...

You could use reference values, and exceptions could be provided where you have evidence that you are different (eg. there could be a fish and chips value).

Thoughts?

Jon



 

 


 

oxnsox
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  #543007 9-Nov-2011 10:46
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jonherries: So lets get away from taxing just fatty foods, maybe the tax added depends on the proportion of fat/sugar per 100 grams.

Say 1 cent (or more) per percentage point per 100 grams.
Double Quarter Pounder = 82.09 cents onto the price of the burger.
Avocado  total tax =  26.25 cents onto the price of the avocado

The more fat/saturated fat/ or sugar the higher the tax.
We could then kill all GST on food, and this would probably cover it with the tax load distributed to the worst foods...
You could use reference values, and exceptions could be provided where you have evidence that you are different (eg. there could be a fish and chips value).

Thoughts?     

Yes...no...but....
Theory is good but it's way to complex, and complexity leads to compliance/avoidance issues, which add cost at both the retail end and the tax collection end.

And on that basis, if you're going to have a fat-tax (which should include sugars), then you're better to keep it simple. Sure it won't deter folk but at least they're helping to pay for the downstream healthcare costs.

Ultimately though it's individual choice and education that helps folk make these decisions. And what purchase choices they have (fatty low quality meat is cheap and widely used within some communities).

Maybe the fat-tax could be used to offset production costs of health whole food options. A bottle of water, or milk, shouldn't be more expensive than a coke or a beer. An Avocado shouldn't be more expensive than a mars bar.

[edit: to remove odd text]

jonherries
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  #543015 9-Nov-2011 10:57
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The La Leche league would think this is a good thing (I don't personally).

I guess this just illustrates how hard this is...

Jon 

sbiddle
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  #543043 9-Nov-2011 11:49
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jonherries:
The more fat/saturated fat/ or sugar the higher the tax.
We could then kill all GST on food, and this would probably cover it with the tax load distributed to the worst foods...

You could use reference values, and exceptions could be provided where you have evidence that you are different (eg. there could be a fish and chips value).

Thoughts?

Jon 
 



So an avocado and a bag of almonds would be taxed and classed as junk food, despite both being "healthy" foods with significant nutrient values?

I assume you'll also be taxing oranges, apples, bananas and cans of coke because all contain significant levels of sugar?

Talkiet
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  #543047 9-Nov-2011 11:58
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sbiddle:
So an avocado and a bag of almonds would be taxed and classed as junk food, despite both being "healthy" foods with significant nutrient values?

I assume you'll also be taxing oranges, apples, bananas and cans of coke because all contain significant levels of sugar?


Except Coke zero obviously. That's healthy as.

Cheers - N




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Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


SaltyNZ
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  #543058 9-Nov-2011 12:23
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Talkiet:  

Except Coke zero obviously. That's healthy as.

Cheers - N


Yep, carcinogens are OK. It's only the fattening stuff we are concerned with in this thread. 




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These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


John2010
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  #543059 9-Nov-2011 12:24
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oxnsox:
...And on that basis, if you're going to have a fat-tax (which should include sugars), then you're better to keep it simple. Sure it won't deter folk but at least they're helping to pay for the downstream healthcare costs.

Ultimately though it's individual choice and education that helps folk make these decisions. And what purchase choices they have (fatty low quality meat is cheap and widely used within some communities)...]


I don't like the idea of people who manage to keep themselves from being overweight (usually by controlling the volume of what they eat) but who still enjoy hamburgers', chips, etc should be paying taxes on fatty foods to help defray the downstream health costs of the overweight (those who don't want to control the volumes of what they eat).

Agree with the education bit but from what I see most overweight people find any excuse they can to eat big volumes of food - e.g "This is not fattening so I can eat as much as I like", so putting aside in their minds that they can still down as many calories as before if they overeat even low calorie foods. So a psychological issue???

TheUngeek
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  #543067 9-Nov-2011 12:35
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Those who look after their health will only consume those things very rarely. So extra price won't be a problem.

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