Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has hailed a new tax on sugary drinks in the United Kingdom as a “big moment in child health”.
Oliver hailed the move as profound.
UK chancellor George Osborne unveiled the tax, to come into effect from 2018, as part of his budget, despite the government ruling out such a tax as recently as February.
The sugar tax will be limited to soft-drinks and not other sugary foods like lollies.
Drinks will more than 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres will be taxed at a higher rate than drinks with less than 5 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.
“Pure fruit juices” and milkshakes will not be subject to the sugar-levy.
We did it guys !!we did it !!! A sugar levy on sugary sweetened drinks …… A profound move… https://t.co/0XkydLzLCo
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) March 16, 2016
The tax is expected to raise about £530m – the equivalent of about 18-24p per litre, the government says.
This will be spent on primary school sports in England.
Osborne’s sugar tax announcement sparked a big fall in the share price of soft drinks makers.
The Office for Budget Responsibility says it could result in a “pretty substantial price rise” on products – as much as 80 per cent on, for example, a two-litre bottle of own-brand cola.