Sugar tax will double funding for sport in primary schools, says chancellor

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 17 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1602
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

The government will introduce a tax on soft drinks containing sugar, the chancellor of the exchequer has announced.

George Osborne said that he expects the new tax, included in the 2016 budget proposals, to raise £520m (€658m; $744m) a year when it comes into force in 2018. The revenue will be used in part to double the amount primary schools spend on sport, to £320m a year. Public health bodies welcomed the announcement warmly, while the food and drinks industry denounced it as “political theatre” that would cost jobs and slow down innovation.

Under the proposals, producers and importers of soft drinks will pay a levy based on the total sugar content of drinks. One rate will apply to drinks with more than 5 g of sugar per 100 mL, which is expected to add about 6p to the price of a 330 mL can or bottle, and a higher rate will apply to drinks with more than 8 g per 100 mL, which is expected to add 8p a can. Small operators will be excluded from the tax.

Details of how the tax …

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