The Government’s new ‘sugar tax’ could impose an ‘arbitrary burden’ on many families, the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has warned.
The sugar tax, announced in the 2016 Budget, will be introduced during 2018, and is intended to help reduce childhood obesity.
However, the TPA’s research has suggested that the tax does not take into account the sugar content of products: it found that some coffee shop beverages contained more sugar than popular fizzy drinks.
These coffee shop drinks are not subject to the sugar tax, despite their high sugar content – however, many fizzy drinks, with lower sugar contents than those drinks served in coffee shops, are.
In addition, of the 49 drinks analysed, the TPA found that the ten with the highest amounts of sugar will not be taxed.
Fizzy drinks will be subject to the tax, but drinks such as pure fruit juices and milk-based products will be excluded.
Jonathan Isaby, TPA chief executive, commented: ‘The evidence shows that the sugar tax has nothing to do with the sugar content of products, so it is farcical to suggest that this will have any positive impact on people’s diet or lifestyle choices’.
However, a Treasury spokesperson stated: ‘The levy will be charged on soft drinks because they are the main source of added sugar in children’s and teenagers’ diets, many with no intrinsic nutritional value’.