Budget 2016: Sugar Tax Hits Companies and Consumers

Jamie Braidwood


George Osborne’s announcement to introduce a new tax on sugary drinks has already had an impact on companies and shoppers.

The levy, which is set to be introduced in two years time, is targeted at soft drinks that contain a high proportion of sugar.

There will be two bands of taxation: one for drinks that contain between 5 and 8 grams of sugar per 100ml and a higher tax for drinks that contain over 8 grams per 100ml.

This will result in companies charging more for their products,  Coca Cola, Irn Bru and Lucozade are expected to be hit heaviest as they fall into the higher tax category, and shoppers paying more at the tills.

The Chancellor expects that the tax will raise £520 million, which will be put towards boosting school sports, and hopes that price increase will encourage people to cut down on the amount of sugar that they consume.

“I’d probably buy less fizzy drinks”, said Alison, 18, from Edinburgh, “if it’s cheaper you’re more likely to put it in your basket, but if it’s more expensive I would probably think again.”

Veronica, 20, agreed: “It’s a good idea. People don’t realise how much sugar is in these drinks and how bad they are for your health. This will not only raise awareness but will deter people from drinking too much.”

Meanwhile, shares of Irn Bru have fallen sharply since the announcement of the news. Chief Executive of AG Barr, the manufacturers of Scotland’s ‘other’ national drink, said: “It is extremely disappointing that soft drinks have been singled out.

“AG Barr has reduced the average calorific content across our brand range by 8.8% in 4 years.”

The sugar tax is thought to be aimed at young children in an attempt to change young people’s lifestyle. A single can of Coca Cola, for example, is 85% of an 11 year old’s daily recommended intake of sugar.

“It’ll be good for the kids”, said Connor, 22, “it won’t effect me as I’m not too concerned about the price.” 18 year old Abbie agreed by saying it will be good as long as it stops children from drinking as much sugary drinks, but it personally ‘doesn’t bother’ her.

Jamie Oliver, who campaigned for a reduction of sugar in drinks, welcomed the news and praised the government for making a ‘logical’ decision.

Speaking on social media, he said: “Amazing news. Business can not come between our kids health. Bold, brave, logical and supported by all the right people.”






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