Lifestyle Economics

Sugar levy is an eye-catching but ill-considered gimmick


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Reaction to the Government's childhood obesity strategy

Commenting on the publication of the Government’s childhood obesity strategy, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said: 

“The government is right to focus on getting children active but if this requires more spending it should come from general taxation not a regressive sugar tax. The sugar levy is an eye-catching but ill-considered gimmick that should have been thrown out with George Osborne. Sugar has been systematically removed from soft drinks for years. Short of forcing people to buy zero sugar brands at gun point, there is nothing more the industry can do.

“With the exception of the sugar tax, the government has rejected the more extreme nanny state proposals and that is to be welcomed. An advertising ban would have been catastrophic for broadcasters and restrictions on supermarket discounts would have punished people for trying to make ends meet.”

Notes to editors:

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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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