Back in 2016, the health secretary at the time, Phillip Hammond, announced plans to introduce a so-called ‘Sugar Tax’ (officially known as the ‘Soft Drinks Industry Levy). Two years later and it’s now coming into force in April 2018, so what does the new Sugar Tax mean for you’?
What Is The Sugar Tax?
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy has been introduced to attempt to curve the national habit of drinking large amounts of fizzy, sugary drinks by implementing a price hike on these drinks.
The Sugar Tax is aimed at the drinks manufacturers directly, meaning they will have to pay an increase in tax on certain products that exceed new sugar content guidelines.
By doing this, the price increase is set to be passed onto the consumer, making these drinks more expensive to buy.
Why Is The Sugar Tax Happening?
The main aim of the Sugar Tax is to make the drinks more expensive to buy, with the hope that less people will be tempted to buy fizzy drinks with a high sugar content, thus having an impact on people’s sugar consumption.
The UK has a huge issue with obesity, and it is thought that sugar-filled fizzy drinks are one of the leading factors towards this.
The overall hope of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy is to create a change in the drinking habits of consumers, and to take an active step in trying to reduce obesity levels. It also hopes that this tax will change the way soft drinks companies make their products, changing recipes to reflect the national mood for diets containing less sugar.
What Is The Industry Reaction To The Sugar Tax?
According to the Metro, soft drinks manufacturers such as Coca-Cola have reacted to the news stating that there is no evidence that these types of taxes work with regards to reducing obesity levels.
This being said, other countries such as Hungary and Brazil that have introduced similar taxes have seen short term drops in sugary drinks consumption.
It’s the long term impact of these taxes that are up for debate, with the sales of fizzy drinks in Brazil reportedly scaling back up to ‘normal’ levels after an initial drop.
Is It Just Affecting Fizzy Drinks? How Much More Will They Cost?
The Sugar Tax is, initially, going to only impact certain fizzy drinks with a high sugar content. Organisations have called for the Sugar Tax to be implemented on all high sugar content foods, such as chocolates and sweets.
Whilst this isn’t the immediate plan, it is thought that introducing a tax for drinks will open the door for other similar taxes to be introduced.
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy is applicable to fizzy drinks that will be split into two bands. Those with a sugar content of more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, and those with a sugar content of more than 8g of sugar per 100ml.
This means that non-diet versions of many popular fizzy drinks such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Irn Bru and Red Bull will be affected.
There is likely to be an increase of around 6p to a can of Sprite and 8p to a can of Coca-Cola. Bigger bottles of these drinks are likely to see a sharper price rise.
What Does This Mean For Slimming World Members?
The news of a Sugar Tax should only be good news for Slimming World members!
The tax does not apply to diet fizzy drinks, such as Diet Coke, as the sugar content does not meet the requirements for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy guidelines.
With a 330ml can of Coca-Cola coming in at 7 Syns, the new Sugar Tax will hopefully make it even less tempting to drink this instead of a can of Diet Coke, which is Syn free.
As always, we’d always recommend drinking these sorts of drinks in moderation, and if you’re after Syn values of specific products then you are best to contact Slimming World direct.
When Will The Sugar Tax Come Into Force?
The Soft Drinks Industry Levy is happening in April 2018, with the UK Government giving companies until 6th April 2018 to register their products to check their liability for the tax.
It is thought that price increases on these fizzy drinks will be introduced soon afterwards.
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