TaxPayers' Alliance slams plans for a regressive sugar tax

February 19, 2016 10:25 AM

Slamming renewed calls for the hugely regressive sugar tax which would hit the poorest hardest, Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 

"It is incredible that the health lobby is continuing to push this deeply regressive tax which will only add to hard-pressed families' bills.

A sugar tax would hit those on lower incomes the hardest. The Government should encourage personal responsibility and let the numerous expensive programmes they have put in place around education and information take effect instead of capitulating to the self-appointed High Priests of the Nanny State in the public health lobby. Lasting change in people's diets will happen via a long-term cultural shift, not by burdening the poorest families with a higher cost of living."

Back in January, a briefing note from the (TPA) shows that the evidence for a sugar tax is weak, at best and must be resisted.

Evidence gathered for this briefing shows that:

  • Sugar consumption in the UK is falling, with per capita consumption in 1901 being around 41kg/year compared to today's 33.7kg/year
  • Consumption of all carbonated drinks fell by 220 million litres from 2011 to 2014, of which just 45 per cent are of "full sugar" and so would be subject to the proposed tax
  • The percentage of children classified as overweight or obese was lower in 2014 than when it peaked a decade ago

There are other ways to help reduce obesity: public health information campaigns and promoting awareness of particular health problems are obvious alternatives; and encouraging more activity and exercise is crucial too.

Read the briefing note here

TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

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