Farming and food charity, Sustain, have recommended a 10 percent fizzy drink tax to tackle Britain’s rising obesity problems.
The debate over this tax has been on-going since August 2012 but officials have said it is quite likely to be passed in time for the government’s budget in March.
The tax, already dubbed as the ‘fat tax’, imposes a 20p-per-litre fee on carbonated drinks as a simple way to reduce sugar in the nation’s diets.
Mike Rayner, of the department of public health at OxfordUniversity 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.”
Sustain say that imposing this tax would raise £1billion to be able to provide free fruit and meals in schools.
Gavin Partington, director general of The British Soft Drinks Association, said: 61% of soft drinks “Now contain no added sugar” and the soft drinks industry believe that this tax is unnecessary.
Labour disagree with Sustain and think that new limitations on sugar, salt and fat content aimed could be a better way to blast obesity.
Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham said: “This would help parents protect their children from foods which contain excessive levels of sugar, salt and fat in a way that a tax wouldn’t.”
Adding further tax onto fizzy drinks may discourage some from buying them and in reality could deprive people of treating themselves.
Northumbria University Sport and Exercise Science student, Joel Fulford, 18, said: “I think it’s pretty stupid because it’s the sugar that’s the problem, not the fact that the drinks are fizzy.
“It would be more sensible to put a tax on high sugar products if they were going to tax something but I don’t think they should tax either way.”