Sugar Tax

Posted by JOrchard on 30 March, 2016

As we’re sure you would have heard the chancellor has annouced a new sugar tax imposed on the soft drinks industry. Although a sugar tax has been talked about for a long time, it still came as a surprise for many. The new sugar tax has been hailed by campaigners who see it as a huge step in the fight against child obesity and diabetes.

How will it work?

The levy is aimed at high-sugar drinks, particularly fizzy drinks which seem to be popular with teenagers.

Not all drinks high in sugar will be taxed. Pure fruit juices and milk-based drinks will be excluded from the sugar tax and the smallest producers will have an exemption from the tax.

The tax will be judges according to the volume of the sugar-sweetened drinks they produce or import.

There will be two different bands - one for total sugar content above 5g per 100 millilitres and a second band for drinks with an even high sugar content in them with more than 8g per 100 millilitres. Analysis that has been done shows that they will be levied at 18p and 24p per litre.

Some examples of drinks that would fall into the higher band of tax include full fat Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Lucozade Energy and Irn-Bru. Drinks that would fall into the lower band of tax are Dr Pepper, Fanta and Sprite.

No Tax on Chocolate  

When it comes to sugar tax, there hasn’t been any call for there to be a tax on foods high in sugar, such as chocolate. There are a number of reasons for this.

One main reason was that a chocolate bar or a slice of cake is normally seen as a treat, whereas people who are drinking fizzy drinks tend to have them every day.

Secondly, some drinks are incredibly high in sugar. In fact a typical can of fizzy drink can contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar. Which is enough to take you over your recommended daily sugar intake.

Research has shown that sugary drinks are the number one source of sugar for teenagers while overall, children get a third of their daily sugar intake from them.

On top of all of this, fizzy drinks have also been called “empty calories” as they have no nutritional benefit.

Where is the money going?

The chancellor stated that a the additional money raised from the new tax (an estimates £520m a year) will be spent on increasing the funding for sport in primary schools.

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