Public health experts have called for the government to introduce a so-called ‘pudding tax’ in order to help tackle high rates of sugar consumption amongst children.
The calls for the introduction of a pudding tax come following the recent publication of research which suggested that the average child consumes 18 years’ worth of sugar by the time they reach the age of ten.
The tax would cover such foods as biscuits, sweets and cakes, and would aim to encourage manufacturers to reduce the sugar content in their products.
Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, is backing the introduction of a pudding tax. She recently stated that more taxes on unhealthy foods need to be introduced, as she is ‘not yet convinced’ that manufacturers can be relied on to reduce sugar content voluntarily.
The government is already taking steps to combat childhood obesity and high rates of sugar consumption amongst children. In April 2018, it introduced the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, which applies to the packaging and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar. 457 manufacturers are currently signed up to this levy.
Official data recently revealed that the Levy generated £153.8 million for HMRC by the end of October 2018. Traders pay one of two rates: either the 18p per litre ‘standard rate’, or the 24p per litre ‘higher rate’.