Sugar tax draft law published

THE Westminster Government has published draft legislation on a sugar levy scheduled to come into force from April 2018.

Under the proposed legislation, soft drinks producers will pay an additional levy on non–alcoholic beverages containing added sugar at a quantity of five grams per 100ml or greater.
Though the levy rate was not included in the draft, it has been speculated that it is likely to be 18p per litre for drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p per litre for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml. In effect this means a 330ml can of Irn-Bru, Pepsi or Coca-Cola would attract an additional 8p tax.
The draft legislation was produced following consultation with key stakeholders, which found 95% of medical and health bodies in favour of the levy, while 78% of manufacturers and associated trade bodies were opposed to the move, according to the government.
Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “Evidence worldwide does not suggest that taxes of this sort have any impact on levels of obesity.
“In 2013, Denmark scrapped its fat tax because of its economic impact and abandoned plans for a tax on sugar.  Evidence from France shows that while sales of soft drinks initially fell after a tax was introduced in 2012 they have increased since.”
Jane Ellison, financial secretary to the Treasury, said the soft drinks levy will form a “central pillar” in the government’s plan to tackle childhood obesity.
“We recognise the work of market-leading companies, and acknowledge the investment costs associated with reformulation work,” she said.