Soft drink sugar tax called for29th January 2013
Over 60 organisations have called for the government to introduce a 20p per litre tax on soft drinks into the Budget for 2013.
The food and farming charity Sustain have recommended the levy, which they said could help to raise £1.1 billion annually to make improvements to children's health.
The charity said the duty raise by the levy would fund free fruit and meals in schools.
Mike Rayner, of the department of public health at Oxford University and chairman of Sustain, said: "Just as we use fiscal measures to discourage drinking and smoking and help prevent people from dying early, there is now lots of evidence that the same approach would work for food.
"This modest proposal goes some way towards making the price of food reflect its true costs to society."
However the British Soft Drink Association (BDSA) said the industry was already contributing to reducing obesity by adding less sugar in drinks.
Director General of the BDSA Gavin Partington said 61% of soft drinks did not contain any added sugar and that 10% of every 60p can of drink was already given to the government in tax.
He added: "Putting up taxes even further will put pressure on people's purses at a time when they can ill afford it."
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