The Sugar Tax Lobby is hard at work trying to convince the Liberal Government to bring in a 20% tax on sugar sweetened beverages.
According to the Lobbyist Registry, since November the Sugar Tax Lobby has met with Members of Parliament, Ministers and their staff 127 times. Meanwhile Coca-Cola Ltd, PepsiCo, and the Beverage Association have managed to secure 45 meetings. That’s right, Big Soda is being out-lobbied by the Sugar Tax Lobby by almost a 3:1 ratio.
But the Liberals, already eager to tax Canadians, know they need to convince consumers they want to drink their kool-aid sugar-free.
A report put out today by the Sugar Tax Lobby, with funding from this reckless government, proposed a 20% tax on drinks with sugar in them. The report drew wild conclusions about the effect of a Sugar Tax. It made the spectacular claim that 60,000 Canadians will die of cancer caused by sugary drinks, and that a 20% tax on sugary drinks will bring in $44 billion dollars over the next 25 years.
Despite wild projections about how this tax will cure cancer and bring in billions the Sugar Tax Lobby was silent on the consequences of a 20% tax on sugary drinks. When Philadelphia brought in a 20% sugar drink tax it added $2.12 USD to the cost of a 12 can case of pop. Within a month 100 employees at the local Pepsi distribution centre were laid off. Not only will people lose their jobs, a sugar tax is regressive and hurts the poorest citizens the most.
At Brown’s stores, many of which were established in places previously designated as food deserts, beverage sales are down 50 percent. Jeff Brown said he’s had to cut 5,000 to 6,000 hours of employment per week, the equivalent of about 280 jobs.
Of course the tax happy media failed to report the most important statistic from the Sugar Tax Lobby’s report. Total sales of sugar sweetened drinks have declined over the last 15 years. That’s right, despite the hype, Canadians are making healthier choices without government trying to control our diets.