A new sugar levy will be imposed on soft drinks to help raise £520m for primary school sports, chancellor George Osborne has announced.
Using his Budget speech, Mr Osborne said the new tax would help double the amount of money dedicated to primary school sports. The new tax will be introduced in two years’ time and will be based on the total sugar content in drinks.
Mr Osborne said: ‘We’re introducing the levy on the industry which means they can reduce the sugar content of their products – as many already do.
‘It means they can promote low-sugar or no sugar brands – as many already are. They can take these perfectly reasonable steps to help with children’s health.’
Mr Osborne warned that most five-year old children are consuming their body weight in sugar every year, with some fizzy drinks containing up to 13 teaspoons of sugar.
His Budget announcement also included plans to fund longer school days for a quarter of secondary schools, to help them provide extra-curricular activities.
‘There will be enough resources for a quarter of secondary schools to take part – but that’s just a start,’ he said.
‘The devolved administrations will receive equivalent funding through the Barnett formula – and I hope they spend it on the next generation too.’