Lifestyle Economics

IEA: Taxing sugar in alcopops would have “no effect on sugar consumption” and “hit the poor hardest”

Responding to calls from Action on Sugar to extend the sugar tax to pre-mixed alcoholic drinks, IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon said:

“The tax on pre-mixed alcoholic drinks is at least four times higher than the tax on sugary drinks. Action on Sugar and the Alcohol Health Alliance are kidding themselves if they think that adding 6p to price of a gin and tonic is going to have any effect on the nation’s sugar consumption.

“Britain has some of the highest alcohol taxes in the world and is one of the few countries to have experimented with a sugar tax. These sin taxes raise the cost of living and hit the poor hardest. Alcohol duty should be cut and the sugar tax abandoned.

“It is revealing that Action on Sugar are now going after alcoholic drinks. The sugar tax was supposed to be about childhood obesity, not interfering with the free choices of adults.”

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Related IEA research: Vox PopWhat is junk food? and Killjoys: A critique of paternalism.