In the budget last week the government announced the introduction of a tax on sugary soft drinks to be introduced in 2018. There are two tiers to the tax. Drinks under 5g per 100ml are exempt, whilst drinks with over 5g per 100ml with be taxed at one rate and those over 8g per 100ml at a second higher rate.
So will the tax actually effect the habits of those it is targeted at? Or is this another way for the government to penalise to poor? Obviously if you live week to week on the national minimum wage any increase in the cost of any item will be felt. But does this actually result in changing habits?
It has been suggested that a portion of the revenue will be used to combat childhood obesity, with part of the revenue raised going towards doubling funding for primary school sport. Which if we had a trustworthy government couldn't be regarded as anything but a good thing. But with no figures published, no actually ring-fenced funded sums provided and not even reliable estimates provided, it is difficult to feel confident that this is anything but a combination of a PR stunt and a surreptitious tax on the poorer in society.