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The Government's Thinking About Including Milkshakes in the Sugar Tax

07 April, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Sara Gill
  • Drinks with high levels of sugar such as Coca-Cola will be charged an increased levy

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates the levy will raise £240 million in 2018-19 as a result, less than half the £520 million it was expected to raise when the Government first announced the move at the 2016 budget.

The long-awaited sugar tax has come into effect in the United Kingdom, meaning food and drink manufacturers have a financial incentive to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks.

Former finance minister George Osborne, who unveiled the tax policy when in office, believes milkshakes with large quantities of sugar may be targeted next. Professor Nava Ashraf, from the London School of Economics, is a leader in the field of behavioural economics.

Well, according to the Treasury, over 50% of drinks manufacturers have already changed their sugar content, to ensure that they will not be subject to the extra tax.

In a bid to protect small businesses, the British government has also granted a reprieve to soft drink producers selling less than 1 million litres of product a year.


The long-awaited sugar tax finally came into play this morning. But will ramping up the cost of high-sugar drinks put fizz in the fight against childhood obesity, or will it fall flat? Sugar-sweetened soft drinks are now the single biggest source of dietary sugar for children and teenagers. Two categories of taxation are coming into force; one which relates to drinks with more than five grams of sugar per 100ml, and another that applies to drinks that contain more than eight grams of sugar per 100ml.

Manafacturers of soft drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml will pay a levy of 18p a litre, whereas drinks containing more than 8g of sugar per 100ml will pay 24p per litre.

Overall, the sugar tax has garnered criticism from the public, and - as usual - many have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

However, 75% of consumers say that clear nutritional information on product packaging would encourage them to cut down on unhealthy food and drink, rising to 81% of 25 to 34-year-olds. Fruit juice and smoothies should be limited to 150ml a day. Some or all of the cost increases are likely to be passed on to consumers.

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy dubbed "the sugar tax" will increase the price of fizzy beverages containing substantial amounts of sugar.

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