Soft drinks prices set to spike

Alicia Cross
April 8, 2018

Manufacturers of soft drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml will pay a levy of 18p a litre to the Treasury, or 24p a litre if the sugar content is over 8g per 100ml, with the cost passed on to retailers and customers.

The price of high-sugar soft drinks in the United Kingdom is set to rise by up to 25% under the newly introduced "sugar tax", in a bid to prevent obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes and certain cancers.

Manufacturers in the United Kingdom must pay a levy on drinks with a sugar content above five grams per 100mL - and a higher one on those containing more than eight grams. But will ramping up the cost of high-sugar drinks put fizz in the fight against childhood obesity, or will it fall flat?

But politicians and industry continue to push back. There was an 18% increase in the past year for conditions caused or complicated by obesity, according to NHS Digital. It's hoped that the tax will help improve children's oral health too. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks are now the single biggest source of dietary sugar for children and teenagers.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said prices on soft drinks in pubs would increase by about 10p as a result of the tax.

What does the new tax work and what does it mean for you? The tax is expected to act on several fronts.

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Dr Anne Marie Thow, senior lecturer in health policy from the University of Sydney, said while the word "tax" brings about negative connotations in the public sphere, the recommendations from The Lancet report are created to ultimately benefit the community.

Meanwhile, 51pc confessed they aren't aware of how much sugar they should be consuming each day. "The sugar levy is a cynical revenue raising device that will clobber people on low incomes ..."

Yearly sales of sodas in Mexico declined 6 percent in 2014, after the tax was introduced (Wall Street Journal).

The global report found they are actually helping the poor, with most of the tax revenues coming from higher income households. Since high income consumers are more likely to buy more expensive beverages, especially alcohol, an alcohol policy based on unit price may be less of a burden on low income household, compared to a policy based on volume.

- Is the British Government the first in the world to introduce such a tax?

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