Sugary Drink Tax 'Could Pay For School Meals'
Sugary drinks should be taxed at up to 20p a litre, say health campaigners - with the proceeds helping to pay for free school meals.
Food and farming charity Sustain said the Government could raise £1bn a year from the duty, while also saving lives by cutting excessive consumption of unhealthy drinks.
The report has been backed by more than 60 organisations, including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Friends of the Earth, the National Heart Forum and the Royal Society for Public Health.
Diet-related illness is now costing the NHS £6bn every year, the report said.
Sustain urged Chancellor George Osborne to introduce the duty in the Budget on March 20 and to channel most of the cash raised into a Children's Future Fund for programmes to improve children's health.
Money could be spent on campaigns to encourage youngsters to eat more fruit and vegetables, the report said.
The group's campaigns manager, Charlie Powell, said: "Sugar-laden drinks are mini-health time bombs, contributing to dental diseases, obesity and a host of life-threatening illnesses which cost the NHS billions each year.
"We are delighted that so many organisations want to challenge the Government to show it has a public health backbone by including a sugary drinks duty in Budget 2013.
"It's a simple and easy-to-understand measure which will help save lives by reducing sugar in our diets and raising much-needed money to protect children's health."
Sustain chairman Mike Rayner, of Oxford University's Department of Public Health, added: "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.
"Our obesity epidemic causes debilitating illness, life-threatening diseases and misery for millions of people. It is high time Government did something effective about this problem."
what do you think?
My coca cola is far too pricey already!? stupid fat people its not hard to stop eating!
I agree, horse thief.
There's already vat on them. What else will they tax if this goes ahead?
I am sick and tired of groups trying to dictate everything which we do and trying to make us pay for choices which do not fit in with their beliefs. Health campaigners should be taxed at 60% with the proceeds going to stress relief treatment of those who they continually have a go at.
Richard. The day will come when we will all have microchips implanted and be controlled from a central point in Westminster.
Fresh air tax could pay for the chancellors next holiday.
Is there any fresh air left to tax? :)
Great. Now it will definitely be more expensive to drink soft drinks instead of beer in the pub. Who would have thought. Cheaper to get drunk than stay sober. When it will cost me around 25 pounds for a taxi home. How about instead of raising the tax on everything to pay for free school meals. Stop paying out money to people who haven't worked for it or have any interest in doing so aswell as people who come here to sponge off the system. Stop the second home rubbish for MPs and you will save billions.
Why not tax all food and drink, then people will not be able to afford to get fat.
PJ. Don't give them any ideas. Food is zero rated for VAT purposes at present but all it will take is an excuse for govts to slap on 20% tax for our own good you understand
dave,but if you factor in VAT on fuel to get the food to outlets and VAT the companies pay, its not realy zero rated.
I always try and buy diet products and fat free cakes, that way you can eat twice as much.
Thanks Shaun, had a good laugh at that one........
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Bryan. And after 2015 do you think we will notice any difference ? I don't
Bryan Most of the organisation supporting the move are Labour supporters
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Bryan. It probably is some smart rsd graduate who has never had to get his hands dirty. But that can be said of our politicians who impliment these ideas. Uni studting politics & economics, political researcher, political advisor and then MP without ever doing a days proper work in their lives
The charity sustain appear to be full of left wing rich suburb living organic food eating greenies the main player works for/with the the labour MP for Streatham The problem is there are too many of these government funded charities that serve little purpose but to line the pockets of those work for them They give little or no value to those who fund them (the Tax Payer)
sugary drink tax! what next then, curly hair tax, spotty a**e tax. How about getting rid of the idiots who think these things up and use their wages for for something useful instead.
How about a stupid idea tax? These idiots would be bankrupt and we'd save a fortune.
Why should everyone suffer just say no
These people must be so healthy its scary. They'll probably live for ever but then be a burden on the state as they'll draw their pension for twice as long as everyone else. Best force feed them with sugar and salt so as to avoid that burden.
Does this idiotic lot think that tax will be spent on British people? It will just go abroad like so much other tax and it will give the gov. a back door way of increasing tax on anything that contains sugar--including natural sugars.
Why don't we just have fields of exercise bikes all hooked up to the national grid, then every day we can be frog marched to do our daily stint, we'd all be much fitter, greener energy and we could eat and drink what we liked. Day by day it is getting more and more like "The Matrix" where we are just insignificant lifeforms governed over by a machine that hates us. Happy days.
so very true Pete
Oh God, Pete - you have made me afraid!
Did anyone notice the tax was for free school meals not to pay for health problems. What about people who don't drink alcohol when they are going out because they are the designated driver? Do they get a pass to pay less for their drinks because they are keeping death off the roads? I guess a fair few of the overweight politicians will be paying rather a lot for free school meals then and setting us all a good example by losing weight and not becoming a burden to the health service. Did you know fruit causes as much if not more damage to teeth than fizzy drinks? Ask your dentist he will confirm it. Are they going to tax fruit? No because we all pay for our dental treatment.
what a load of crap, if you dont want the sugary drink - dont drink it, just another way for the government to get more taxes off people... if people are fat, stop eating so much food.
Not the government suggesting it but a left wing charity
Non sugary fizzy drinks contain artifical sweetners the long term dangers of which are unknown, although a can of Coke purchased on a US Airbase some years ago had the warning: aspartame has been shown to causwe cancer in rats. I don't buy lowcal drinks for my son and never have. Likewise we have butter and not low fat spreads as these also contain chemicals to nmake them taste and "feel" right. I would much rather my family had a small amount of a mostly chemical free product with well known "health risks" than something unknown. Eat and drink too much of anything and it's bad for you.
If you don't smoke, don't drink alcohol, don't eat red meat (or any meat for that matter) and don't drink sugary drinks, you will not necessarily live any longer. It will just feel like it................
Yay! Another scheme to stop us making choices for ourselves! We do have to be careful of the free school meals thing though. Parents who think that once the form is filled the job is done need to check with their kids - it's not always the case. Every day, I see these kids (who otherwise wouldn't have lunch as their parents would have to provide it and can't afford to or can't be bothered to) munching on plain boiled pasta and grated cheese, chips and cheese and other inappropriate combinations. No-one is looking out for this and it is a great worry to me. Pupils are far less responsive in the afternoons through tiredness and hunger. Poor eggs.
I was worried about what will be taxed next. Then I looked around me because I was going to suggest silly things like "sofa tax" and so on and I'm now a bit alarmed. I have paid tax on EVERYTHING around me! I also paid tax on my car when I bought it; man bought road tax for it yesterday ready for tomorrow; I pay tax on its fuel. I think that if the fizzy drinks don't get us, tax may well...