Sugar Tax

AN MP is demanding government drop plans to introduce a sugar-tax, and said it would be a nanny state tax on the poorest people in the country. Shipley MP Philip Davies urged the Department of Health to stop its “natural nanny state instincts” when it came to childhood obesity. Due to be published in the summer the strategy is expected to impost a new sugar tax on some drinks. Mr Davies said: “If the sugar tax is part of that childhood obesity strategy, why is the tax being directed at a certain number of products, when other products with far more sugar in them will not be covered by the tax? “We are expecting fizzy drinks like Coca Cola, 7Up and energy drinks and Ribena to be included but smoothies, milkshakes and sweet coffees will not be because they have milk in them. These can contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar but they would be exempt because they have milk in them. It is ludicrous. “The Department of Health should abandon this policy and encourage the Chancellor to abandon it before it becomes the new pasty tax policy”. Government claim the childhood obesity epidemic is now a “national emergency”. In response during Health Questions, Care Minister Alistair Burt, said tackling unacceptable levels of obesity were a major priority. He said: “We know that obese children are much more likely to become obese adults. In adulthood, obesity is a leading cause of serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Tackling obesity and improving diet, especially in children, is therefore one of our major priorities and an issue that we made a commitment to tackle in our manifesto.” The childhood obesity strategy will be launched in the summer and include key steps in how to make children’s lives healthier, including how and why children become overweight and ways to tackle it.