George Osbourne has announced that in two years’ time a sugar levy will be introduced for the soft drinks industry in the UK. This is an idea that has been banded about for several years, earning the support of healthy living heavyweights like Jamie Oliver, and pretty strong support from the general public. The hope is that it will raise around £520 million, which can then be used to fund sports programmes in primary schools – a double whammy to tackle childhood obesity. This will, of course, most likely result in higher prices for anyone in the UK who fancies a can of something sweet.
While tackling childhood obesity is always a good thing, there’s evidence to suggest a sugar tax isn’t the best way to go about it. Similar laws were introduced in Mexico – which resulted in a minuscule reduction of around six calories a day – and Denmark, where it was soon repealed because of the economic impact. Also, does responsibility for overindulging in sugar really rest on the government’s shoulders? Isn’t it more important to educate the parents of young children about the consequences of a sugar-heavy diet, rather than introducing a sweeping levy that affects those of us who enjoy the occasional soft drink as part of a balanced diet?
So, sugar tax – good or bad? Will it affect how many soft drinks you consume? Do you feel the responsibility lies with the individual about what they eat or drink, or do you think it’s a good idea to try and curb consumption? Have your say and let us know in the comments section below!