Soft drinks levy implemented in UK today

drinks, sugar, tax
Industry
06/04/2018 - 12:52
The UK sugar levy on high-sugar drinks has come into effect today.

Major soft drinks brands have reduced their sugar content in anticipation of the levy, which is also enacted by a handful of other nations including Mexico, France and Norway.

Ribena and Lucozade have cut the amount of sugar from above 10g per 100ml to below 5g per 100ml.

A spokesperson from Lucozade Ribena Suntory said: “This activity means our core portfolio is under the government’s lowest levy threshold, so it’s absolutely business as usual for caterers.”

Pepsi and Coca-Cola have not changed their recipes, according to the BBC.

The levy is being applied to manufacturers. Whether they pass it on to consumers or not is up to them.

Drinks with 5g of sugar per 100ml will face a lower rate of tax at 18p per litre. Those with more than 8g per 100ml will face a higher rate at 24p per litre. Pure fruit juices will be exempt as they do not carry added sugar, while drinks with a high milk content will also be exempt due to their calcium content.

Originally, the Treasury forecast it would raise more than £500m a year, but that has now been reduced to £240m because of the sugar reduction by manufacturers. In England that income is being invested in schools sports and breakfast clubs, according to the BBC.

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