Sugar Tax

6th April 2018

Local MP Philip Dunne says the government’s Soft Drinks Levy, which taxes high sugar drinks products, will benefit millions of children across the UK as it comes into force on today, Friday 6th April.

Producers will pay 18p per litre on drinks that have a total sugar content of more than 5g and less than 8g per 100ml, and 24p per litre on drinks that have a total sugar content of 8g or more per 100ml. Companies can reformulate drinks to reduce the sugar content, which may either reduce or remove drinks’ liability to the levy. Many have chosen to do this, reducing the amount of sugar contained in products.

In England alone, a third of children are obese or overweight when they leave primary school, and 80 per cent of children who are obese in their early teens will go on to be obese adults.

Mr Dunne said: “I welcome the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, to help combat the large amounts of sugar children in particular can consume through drinks. The UK has one of the highest overall obesity rates amongst developed countries, and we know that children who are obese are likely to become obese adults.

The estimated cost to the UK economy today from obesity is between £27 billion and £46 billion, with the NHS spending over £6 billion a year on overweight and obesity-related ill health. So this levy is welcome part of the government’s plan to tackle childhood obesity.

I am particularly pleased that the money raised from the levy will go to funding new sports facilities in schools, as well as healthy breakfast clubs, ensuring children lead healthier lives.”

The Soft Drinks Levy is applied to a product if it meets all of the following conditions:

  • it has had sugar added during production, or anything (other than fruit juice, vegetable juice and milk) that contains sugar, such as honey
  • it contains at least 5 grams (g) of sugar per 100 millilitres (ml) in its ready to drink or diluted form
  • it’s either ready to drink, or to be drunk it must be diluted with water, mixed with crushed ice or processed to make crushed ice, mixed with carbon dioxide, or a combination of these
  • it’s bottled, canned or otherwise packaged so it’s ready to drink or be diluted
  • it has a content of 1.2% alcohol by volume (ABV) or less



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