Businesses come together to urge Government to can the soft drinks tax

sugar taxOrganisations – including the AVA – representing thousands of small businesses and their employees across the UK have today launched a campaign calling on the new Government to ‘can’ George Osborne’s soft drinks tax.

‘Face the Facts, Can the Tax’ is supported by a coalition of British businesses who have come together to highlight the damaging economic consequences of the tax and urge the Government to rethink the policy and focus instead on proven solutions that will address obesity. The group includes soft drinks manufacturers, wholesalers, small shops, newsagents, restaurants, bars, and pubs. The launch comes as a new report from Oxford Economics has highlighted the worrying economic damage the proposed soft drinks tax could have on British industry. The report predicts a loss of more than 4,000 jobs across the UK and a decline of £132 million in economic output.

The same report predicts that calorie consumption will drop by just five calories per person per day as a result of the tax – the equivalent of a bite of an apple. Meanwhile, between 2004 and 2014, sales of ‘full sugar’ soft drinks fell 44%, and now contribute less than 3% of calories in the diet, yet obesity increased by around 4% in this same period.

The group recognises that tackling obesity is a major public health challenge in the UK. The group wish to work with the Government and other stakeholders to deliver effective and holistic policy solutions.