The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has recently called on prime minister Boris Johnson to reconsider his plans to review “sin taxes” on foods high in salt, fat and sugar.
In the run up to his election as prime minister Johnson stated a review of the taxes in his intentions, and the College responded by explaining that a reverse on the “sugar tax” in particular “would will significantly worsen the publics’ health”.
According to HMRC, sugar tax receipts for 2019 were £251 million, representing an increase of around £100 million from 2018, in which they amounted to £153.8 million to year end.
Professor Derek Bell, president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said: “Our Fellows and Members have consistently said that action on the levels of salt, sugar and fat in food and drink must be taken to improve the publics’ health in the UK.
He went on to say that the College “supports policies such as the soft drink industry levy because they do just that. The sugar tax tackles the problem at source by saying to the soft drinks industry: You must do more to reduce the high levels of sugar in your products.”
In addition to not reversing the tax, the College wants to extend the levy to “other products such as caffeinated drinks, milkshakes and fruit smoothies” as well as wanting the Government to “work with retailers to make healthy food more accessible to all.”
The sugar tax, or soft drink industry levy, was introduced on 6 April 2018 by the UK Government, as UK Ministers believe that the levy will help to reduce sugar in soft drinks and tackle childhood obesity.