YOUR VIEW: Is the government right to introduce a sugar tax on drinks?

Sugary drinks. Picture by PA.
Sugary drinks. Picture by PA.
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Have your say

The new budget has been announced and the Government has introduced a sugar tax for soft drinks.

Drinks with 5g of sugar per 100ml will be taxed at one level and drinks with 8g or more per 100ml will be taxed higher.

Colin Smith

Colin Smith

They hope to raise £520m per year and help tackle national obesity.

Tatjhana Rowe, 17, from Buxton, said: “The tax won’t put me off and if the prices do go up, you can just buy them in bulk so it is cheaper for people.

“It’s the same when the price of tobacco goes up, people moan but the will still pay for the goods they want.”

This tax will be paid by the manufacturer, not the consumer, but there is still concerns that this will force the price of soft drinks up.

Tatjhana Rowe

Tatjhana Rowe

The Office for Budget Responsibility says it could result in a “pretty substantial price rise” on products - as much as 80 per cent on, for example, a two-litre bottle of own-brand cola.

Les Allsworthy, 73, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, said: “I don’t drink fizzy drinks, but I think this is a really good idea.

“Everyone knows obesity is a major problem and it’s great the Government is trying to tackle this, but it is the parents that are buying the drinks for their children. Although those who want sweet stuff won’t be put off by the tax.”

The tax will not apply to fruit or milk-based drinks.

Les Allsworthy

Les Allsworthy

Mum Grace Buckley, 26, from Buxton, said: “I agree with the tax completely. I don’t let my kids have sugary drinks.

“There are more important things for the Government to be focusing on, but I think it’s a step in the right direction to try and stop the children and adults having too much sugar.”

This soft drinks tax measure will raise an estimated £520 million a year, and will be spent on doubling funding for sport in primary schools.

Tim Stubbs, 34, from Buxton, said: “The Government is a national disgrace.

Grace Buckley

Grace Buckley

“It is abhorrent what is being done to disabled people, cutting their benefits.

“I’m sure the sugar tax is important but there are things far more pressing that have been ignored - they say they are trying to help people but they really aren’t in the long run.”

According to the NHS, a child under-11 should have no more than 30g of sugar a day; in one 330ml can of coke there is 35g of sugar.

Colin Smith, 23, from Fairfield, said: “I’m not sure about this tax, will it help the children?

“I drink a lot of cola and it wouldn’t put me off if the price went up.

“It’s already expensive. The normal offer is two bottles for two pounds, so when you are spending that much a couple of pence more won’t make that much difference.

Tim Stubbs

Tim Stubbs

“Although if it did hike up loads, I think I’d just shop at the supermarket and pick up the multipacks.”

The tax was announced in the budget on Wednesday, March 16 and took many people by surprise as it had previously been discussed in Parliament in the autumn last year and dismissed.

Pete White, 55, from Fairfield, added: “The suppliers will keep making the drinks as long as there is a demand for it, so unless the tax is so high that it really affects people in their pockets I don’t think it will change the amount people drink.”