Charity Calls For Tax On Sugary Drinks

Food and farming charity Sustain is calling for a new tax on sugary drinks with the proceeds going towards child health.

soft drink

In a pre-budget report, the charity claims that the government could raise £1billion a year from a 20p a litre rise in tax on high-sugar drinks. It suggests this extra revenue could be used to pay for free school meals and initiatives encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables.

According to the report, the levy would also help save lives by cutting consumption of sugar-laden drinks, which has been backed by more than 60 organisations including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Friends of the Earth, the National Heart forum and the Royal Society for Public Health.

Sustain’s Campaign Manager Charlie Powell, said: “Sugar-laden drinks are mini health time bombs, contributing to dental diseases, obesity and a host of life-threatening illnesses which cost the NHS billions each year.

“We are delighted that so many organisations want to challenge the government to show it has a public health backbone, by including a sugary drinks duty in budget 2013.

“It’s a simple and easy-to-understand measure which will help save lives by reducing sugar in our diets and raising much-needed money to protect children’s health.”

The chairman of Sustain, Mike Rayner, of Oxford University’s department of public health, added: “Just as we use fiscal measures to discourage drinking and smoking and help prevent people from dying early, there is now lots of evidence that the same approach would work for food.

“Our obesity epidemic causes debilitating illness, life-threatening diseases and misery for millions of people. It is high time government did something effective about this problem.”

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5 responses to “Charity Calls For Tax On Sugary Drinks

  1. “initiatives encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables.” WHAT?
    It’s not about initiatives and encouraging children to eat more fresh! You need education and less choice in the supermarkets. Tax ALL sugar and unhealthy rubbish on the shelf and that includes ‘low fat’ & ‘healthy’ options being mis-sold to the public.
    The fact is that people are too ignorant and apathetic when it comes to what they ingest. Education from the beginning of a child’s life works as long as parents can understand the dangers themselves. Too many children are rewarded with sweets when praise should be enough.
    The money raised from a tax is meaningless as it never ends up where it’s supposed to and needed. If you wanted to make the nation healthier then tobacco, alcohol, sugar, televisions etc would be priced so extortionately that no one could afford to have them. But then you’ve lost your tax revenue and an outright ban leads to black marketeering, again no solution.
    It needs to be education all the way and getting people to understand the effects their actions have on themselves and others and actually take responsibility for self.

  2. Watch out, they are specifically targeting sports and energy drinks. Next time you finish a marathon, the contents of your goodie bag might be taxed. The list of 61 supporting organisations does not include anyone representing sport and exercise.

  3. As Scott says….Education! Although I think that the education needs to start with a massive overhauling of the completely useless food pyramid. There needs to be an acceptance that we’ve been fed a whole load of nutritional BS over the past 40+ years by government departments.

    Sugary drinks……can we say the word “scapegoat”!

  4. Mike Gascoigne

    I think we need a tax on overweight health professionals. Cut their pay according to their size.

  5. Reblogged this on snoozeyalose and commented:
    Thank you for sharing.

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