10 Dec 2019

New Caledonia to introduce sugar tax

1:13 pm on 10 December 2019

New Caledonia will introduce a sugar tax to counter obesity and diabetes.

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Photo: RNZ

The collegial government has unanimously approved a bill to put a levy on a range of sweetened products, such as sugary drinks, juices, chocolate and sodas.

However, sugar in itself will be exempt.

Once the bill is approved by the Congress, the tax rate for the various products will have to be determined.

The government said 38 percent of the population was now obese and 40 percent of children over the age of 12 had weight problems.

An estimated 14,000 people suffer from diabetes type 2, incurring an economic cost of about $US80 million a year.

A report eight years ago showed that the sugar content of items sold in New Caledonia was higher than in France.