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The UK Sugar Tax

The chancellor has announced that a new sugar tax will be imposed on the soft drinks industry. In his new Budget, George Osbourne has unveiled new plans to fight childhood obesity by targeting the soft drinks industry. By increasing the prices of high-sugar drinks it is hoped that people, particularly children, will be more reluctant to buy them. Pure fruit juices and milk-based drinks will be exempt, as will drinks from small producers. There are two bands, one for total sugar content above 5g per 100ml and a second for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml, with taxes at 18p and 24p respectively.

In recent years many have been calling for this levy to be imposed, and not long ago Cancer Research UK suggested that a sugar tax could result in 3.7 million fewer cases of obesity by 2025. There are many reasons why drinks are being targeted and not other high-sugar foods, one is that people who drink these drinks tend to consume them every day, and some of them contain such high proportions of sugar that a person can consume over the recommended sugar intake in one sitting. It is thought that the money raised from the tax, approximately £520 million, will be spent on funding for sport in primary schools, furthering the fight against childhood obesity.

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