Sugar Tax Starts in UK

The so-called ‘ground-breaking’ sugar tax on soft drinks has come into force in the UK. From today, 6th April, manufacturers must have to pay a levy on the high sugar drinks they sell. Ministers and campaigners believe it is already a success with many firms reducing sugar content in their drinks ahead of the tax.

Brands like Ribena and Lucozade have all cut the sugar in their drinks, but Coca-Cola has not. The levy will see the UK joining a handful of other nations who have introduced similar taxes. These include Mexico and Norway.

The levy is being applied to manufacturers, with drinks containing more than 8g per 100ml will face a tax rate of 24p per litre. Pure fruit juices will be exempt as they do not contain added sugar, while drinks with high milk content will also be exempt due to the calcium content in those beverages.

Oh my sugary friends, how bad you are for me.

The Treasury estimated it could raise more than £500m a year with the sugar tax, but this had been halved after some drinks providers reduced their sugar content. This income will be invested in school sports and breakfast clubs.

Food products are not covered by the tax, although the initiative is encouraging manufacturers to reduce the sugar in their items without the need of a tax.

If you want to look at the worst offenders for sugary drinks, teenagers are the target it would seem.

Public health Minister Steve Brine stated:

‘Our teenagers consume nearly a bathtub of sugary drinks each year on average, fuelling a worrying obesity trend. The levy is a ground-breaking policy that will help to reduce sugar intake.’

With this tax and the recent ban on energy drinks for U16’s, it should encourage kids to buy healthier alternatives.