The sugar tax may have just arrived – but that hasn’t stopped people immediately crying out and trying to stop the controversial measure. In typically British fashion, many unhappy consumers have started signing a petition urging Theresa May to change her mind. It appears the main bone of contention is down to some drinks companies changing much-loved formulas in anticipation of the levy. Lucozade, Irn-Bru and Ribena have all slashed their sugar content so their loyal customers don’t bear the brunt of a price hike. But some fear it’s going to completely ruin their taste.
There is already an on-line petition aiming to overturn this measure which states – ‘The full sugar version of a drink not only tastes superior, it has beneficial effects, especially for people with a sensitivity to said artificial sweeteners,’ the petition claims. The petition added: ‘All the tax is doing is punishing adult consumers. Why should we suffer this draconian approach to obesity?’
The sugar tax is going to affect any drink with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml. Over that limit, the drink will automatically cost more. And if it has more than 8g of sugar per 100ml… well, it goes up again.
You won’t have to pay anything extra if your sugary drink of choice contains at least 75% milk though, so it’s not all bad. The amount each brand goes up by in cost will depend on the added sugar content of the beverage. The worst offenders include Ribena, Dr Pepper and Coca-Cola, as they all have more than 8g of sugar per 100ml. This means that as of today, they will cost 24p a litre more. Other brands with 8g of sugar or more include Red Bull, 7Up and Pepsi. Sprite and Fanta both have around six to seven grams of sugar per 100ml, so they will also increase in price – but by 18p a litre.
The so-called ‘sin taxes’ have been found to prolong people’s lives, according to a major international study. The global report found they are actually helping the poor, with most of the tax revenues coming from higher income households. Experts are urging governments to use taxes as a weapon to put off people from bad habits to help stop the spread of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are linked to lifestyle and are described in the report as a ‘major cause and consequence’ of poverty. In the study, published in The Lancet medical journal, experts found the introduction of a soft drinks tax in Mexico saw people drinking an average 4.2 litre less per person in 2014. Soft drink purchases decreased by 17% in lower income groups, but hardly changed among the better off.
But do we need a sugar tax? Aren’t people aware that high sugar content drinks are bad for you if drunk in excess and shouldn’t people be trusted to regular their own intake and that of their dependants? We would love to kow your thoughts on these new measures.
The following popular drinks all have more than 8g of sugar per 100ml. –
Fever-Tree Indian tonic water: 8g
San Pellegrino lemon: 8.9g
Red Bull: 11g
Coca-Cola Cherry: 11.2g
Old Jamaican ginger beer: 15.2g