NHS England Sets the Precedent as Plans to Impose Sugar Tax are Announced

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NHS England has set a precedent by becoming the first organisation to impose a sugar tax on certain products. Sugary drinks sold in hospital cafes and community medical centres in England will carry a levy in the coming years, it has been confirmed.

Chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, confirmed that a 20% sugar tax will be imposed on sugary drinks on sale in hospital cafes in England by the year 2020. The move is hoped to tackle rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental diseases and Mr Stevens believes that NHS staff should set a good example for the public to follow.

Mr Stevens suggested that the tax could also raise between £20 million and £40 million per year to be re-invested in the NHS.

The move comes after strong support for a sugar tax to be imposed on sugary drinks was displayed across the country. Public health experts and campaign groups such as Action on Sugar have been calling for David Cameron to impose a 20% levy on fizzy drinks to try and reduce sugar consumption, especially among young children and teenagers.

It remains to be seen whether the Prime Minister will fully change his mind on a sugar tax, which he previously suggested was not necessary. In the last few days, the government has seemed more open to such measures.

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