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What is the Sugar Tax and How Will it Affect You?

  • New tax is being introduced on sugar
  • Fizzy drink prices will increase
  • What drinks are safe from the price increase?
  • How much will it cost?
The cost of your favourite fizzy drinks will be going up from Friday. Image: Getty
The cost of your favourite fizzy drinks will be going up from Friday. Image: Getty

The sugar tax on soft drinks will hit consumers from this Friday, the 6th April.

This means that if a soft drinks contains more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, the company will have to pay 18p per litre in tax, with the cost of this passed on to retailers and consumers.

The Government and health campaigners hope the higher prices will put consumers off buying sugary drinks, as these will go up in price.

Drinks like original Pepsi and Coca-Cola will be high by the price increase, and are expected to increase by an average of 8p per can.

While this might not seem like much, if you drink a can of Pepsi everyday, this will cost you an extra £30 a year.

A Coca-Cola Great Britain spokeswoman said, “Coca-Cola Classic is one of the few brands that will be subject to the new tax as we have decided not to change the recipe.

“Consumers tell us not to change it and we believe they should be able to choose a Coca-Cola Classic is that’s the drink they want.

“If customers want a Coca-Cola without sugar, we have Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which will not be subject to the tax.”

Irn Bru caused frustration among fans earlier in the year, when it announced it was changing the recipe to cut down on sugar.

A spokesperson for the drink said, “Irn Bru continues to be made using the same secret Irn Bru flavour essence, but with less sugar.

“The vast majority of our drinkers want to consumer less sugar, so that’s what we’re now offering.

“We ran lots of taste tests that showed most people can’t tell the difference, nine out of ten regular Irn Bru drinkers told us we have a good or excellent taste match.”

Drinks in restaurants will also be going up; Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin said soft drinks at the pub chain will be going up by 10p.

However, 50% of manufacturers have changed their formulas to cut sugar, according to figures last month.

Tesco has changed the recipe for all of its own-label soft drinks to come in below the threshold for the levy, claiming the changes have cut more than nine billion calories from customers diets each year.

Tesco said it will continue to stock a full range of branded drinks, which could be more expensive after Friday, or come in a smaller serving size for the same price as previously.

Morrisons, Asda, and The Co-Op have also cut down the amount of sugar in their own brand soft drinks.

A Co-Op spokeswoman said, “The levy is designed to be passed on to customers and drive a charge in consumer behavior so, for branded soft drinks that do qualify, we will pass on the cost of the levy and the VAT to the customer.”

However, the British Soft Drinks Association said there was no evidence to suggest that a tax of this sort would have a meaningful impact on obesity.

It said sugar intake from soft drinks has been declining year-on-year since 2013, and yet NHS figures showed that obesity prevalence increased from 15% in 1993 to 27% in 2015.

Do you think the Sugar Tax is a good idea? Let us know in the comments.

Comments+20 points

Adults should be able to choose for themselves!! I’m not obese & far from it & I detest diet drinks! Another money making scheme from the greedy government! We’re be taxed for breathing before you know it! Watch this space!


I like the concept, however I think the way it's been done isn't good at all. People should be able to choose for themselves, instead now most of the recipes are changing for less sugar and it seems an increase in sweeteners, which for people like me who are intolerant to them, is going to have a massive effect on what I can choose from now. Also I hardly believe that it's down to sugary drinks alone...


Wish people could learn to love water and teach their children that it is the healthiest option


I think it is amazing

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