‘No’ to sugar tax - union

2016-12-06 06:01
Photo: supplied Food and Allied Workers Union members and employees of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa march against the pending possible introduction of a sugar tax by government.

Photo: supplied Food and Allied Workers Union members and employees of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa march against the pending possible introduction of a sugar tax by government.

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THE Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) employees, marched in solidarity in the streets of Durban against the pending introduction of the sugar tax by government last week.

According to FAWU, the determination to mount this march was informed by admission from the Treasury and their researchers that there will be job losses emanating from the sugar tax.

In addition there are claims that those lost jobs will be fictitiously created­ elsewhere, perhaps in bottled water or 100% juice factories, yet there is no scientific study to prove this.

FAWU general secretary, Katishi Masemola said: “We support the quest for a healthy nation and want an obesity-free population if that means a citizenry­ not prone to heart problems, strokes and hypertensions, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

“However, we do not believe that a tax on sugar-sweetened beverage products will be a mechanism to achieve the intended health objectives.

“We think this will simply become another ‘sin tax’ like those taxes on alcohol and tobacco products. If this tax is introduced as a revenue-raising exercise for the government fiscus we may agree, but if it is introduced as a health policy intervention, we beg to differ and we can argue with alcohol and tobacco that those taxes may not have worked as claimed as policy steps for all sorts of realities.”

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