No one can help but approve of George Osbourne introducing a tax on sugary drinks, but will it really work?
I have lived with Diabetes for over 25 years and one of the first things I noticed when I was diagnosed is that almost all foods contain sugar. These foods include ones we would assume are healthy, such as bread, baked beans, almost any tinned food and of course drinks. It is very difficult to avoid sugar, particularly if you have to feed kids. The labels on most of these products provide information on the amounts of sugar, but quite lot of foods, such as bread do not and how many people examine this minute writing anyway.
So the Chancellor says that only the manufacturers of sugary drinks will be taxed and this will not affect the consumer. This is patently nonsense as any extra costs will be inevitably be passed on the consumer, business being business. As is the case with most government policy this will be over-complicated, not fully considered and a missed opportunity.
What we really need is to reduce sugar content in all foods and this needs to be done over a period of time. We have become so used to the sugar in foods that we really don’t notice their presence, but we would if it was suddenly removed. We know that super saturated sugary drinks are probably the worst, but if you add up all the other hidden sugars in, for example, cereals even Corn Flakes, this is still a big problem.
What we need is not a simple ‘sugar tax’ on drinks, but a comprehensive policy to remove added sugars from all foods. Simply taxing a specif area of food manufacture is not the answer