October 13, 2016
THERESA MAY has been urged to can the hated Sugar Tax amid claims that cutting portion sizes is TEN TIMES more effective in fighting the flab.
Theresa May has been urged to can the hated Sugar Tax amid claims that cutting portion sizes is ten times more effective in fighting the flab.
The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) added the Government’s proposed soft drink levy breached Whitehall’s own guidelines – as Ministers hadn’t fully studied alternative measures.
In a damning submission to the Treasury, the industry lobby group warned that slapping a tax on fizzy drinks would cost thousands of jobs and clobber poorer families by pushing prices up by as much as 50 per cent.
It said experts had already found that a tax was ten times less effective than reducing portion sizes – and eight times worse than reformulating products.
BSDA director general Gavin Partington said: “The proposals will be economically damaging to the country and will produce a very limited change to the nation’s diet.”
The PM plans to slap a levy of between 24p to 48p on soft drinks with added sugar from April 2018 to tackle the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic.
The levy will cover everything from Coca-Cola to squashes and Slush Puppies.
Soft drink giants have threatened to take the UK to the European courts – claiming it’s unfair that manufacturers of biscuits, cakes, chocolate and milk-based drinks will escape the levy.
The British Soft Drinks Association said the Government’s own figures show the levy will push the UK inflation rate up by 0.25 per cent – pushing up the nation’s inflation-linked welfare bill.
And it argued that sugar intake from soft drinks has come down by 16 per cent since 2012.
Soft drink purchases by low-income households have fallen by 10 per cent since 2007.
Mr Partington told the Sun: “Public Health England and the most comprehensive global report on obesity by McKinsey both agree that smaller pack sizes are far more effective in tackling obesity than tax.
“The Government should explain why it’s breaching its own regulation principles and pushing ahead with a tax policy deemed less effective – and one which will cost thousands of jobs and push up prices for consumers.”
The Sun in June revealed a damning study claimed the Sugar Tax would only knock five calories a day from Brits’ daily diets – equal to a spoon of soup or a bite of an apple.
The Treasury yesterday defended the Sugar Tax – saying the World Health Organisation claimed sugary drinks were a “major factor” in the global increase of obesity.
A spokesman said: “This week the World Health Organisation joined a chorus of respected voices calling for taxes to help reverse the rise in global obesity caused by sugary drinks – and producers like Britvic are already reformulating their products.”
It said the move was supported by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and over 60 public health organisations including the British Medical Association and the Royal Society for Public Health.