To tax or not to tax?

sugar writingToday marks the final day of International Diabetes Awareness Month 2015.

Today the sugar tax debate is hitting the media again in a big way.

Whether you are for or against a sugar tax it seems a fitting time to give more attention to this debate, and to turn the spotlight again on sugar: the dangers of sugar, the role of sugar on public health, the economics of sugar.

Is this the first time in living history that a Government has resisted such public calls for a tax? Resisted an opportunity to boost the chancellor’s coffers, with strong public support? The political stance is curious to say the least.

Here is a selection of the articles I’ve come across this morning:

MPs back sugar tax and ban on junkfood ads during X-factor

Jamie Oliver’s right! MPs say it’s time for a 20% tax on sugary drinks to tackle childhood obesity

Ban Junk Food Ads And Tax Sugary Drinks – MPs

UK MPs seek tighter measures on sugary drinks to tackle childhood obesity 

MPs back sugar tax endorsed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver

Breakfast Briefing: Pressure grows on Gov for sugar tax

Tax sugary drinks and restrict TV adverts for sweets, MPs urge

MPs to call for ‘sugar tax’ and tighter controls on junk food ads

Introduce tax on sugary drinks, say MPs

MPs call for sugar tax to combat obesity

Radical Overhaul Needed To Beat Obesity – MPs

MPs demand 20% levy for fizzy drinks and blitz on junk food deals

Sugar tax: MPs join call to cut £5bn a year cost of obesity

Commons health committee puts weight behind UK sugar tax

Commons chiefs to demand ‘sugar tax‘ and tighter controls on junk food ads

Despite all those calls for the sugar tax, there is an “against” view point also reported this morning. It’s a minority of the British people who believe such a tax would be effective in combating obesity and disease – including diabetes:

British public unconvinced by soft drinks tax

I am throwing my hat onto the side that says there probably is a better way – regulate the food industry, restrict the amount of sugar permitted in processed foods, education, more transparent food labelling…

I am grateful this topic is working its way up political agendas. Let this debate rage!!

 

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