Chancellor Confirms Plans to Introduce Sugar Tax

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Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the introduction of a sugar tax in the Budget yesterday, March 16th.

Addressing members of parliament, Mr Osborne stated that extra tax levies would be applied to sugary drinks in the near future. The move has been under speculation for some time, but it was a surprise inclusion in yesterday’s Budget. Health organisations have long been calling for a sugar tax and the campaign was supported by TV chef Jamie Oliver.

Under new measures, which will come into play in the next couple of years, the price of sugary drinks will increase. Health experts hope that increasing retail prices will discourage people from consuming too much sugar.

A can of cola contains 35g (or seven teaspoons) of sugar, which exceeds the recommended daily intake of sugar for children aged over 11 years old. There will be two separate tax bands – one for drinks that contain more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and one for those containing more than 8g per 100ml.

While the announcement has been welcomed by many public health and dental organisations, it has been criticised by representatives from manufacturing companies. Some have also accused the government of creating a ‘nanny-state’.

Jamie Oliver, who has campaigned for healthier meals for children in the past and was vocal in his support of a sugar tax, hailed the revelation as a “big moment in child health.”

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