Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Something must be done

So we've dealt with the smokers and we're trying to sort out the drinkers, but when that's done we need a new target:
Leading medical bodies are calling for a 20p-per-litre levy on soft drinks to be included in this year's Budget. 
More than 60 organisations, including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, are backing the recommendation by food and farming charity Sustain. 
They say it would raise £1bn a year in duty to fund free fruit and meals in schools to improve children's health.
What we actually have here is lobbying by yet another fake charity:
But Sustain says the tax is a simple measure that would help save lives by reducing sugar in our diets and raising money to protect children's health. 
It says the UK consumes more than 570 million litres (125 million gallons) of sugary soft drinks a year. Adding a 20p tax for every litre sold would raise more than £1.1bn.
No it wouldn't because it takes no account of the cost of collection or behavioural changes, the latter being what Sustain actually wants to achieve with this tax.
"This modest proposal goes some way towards making the price of food reflect its true costs to society. Our obesity epidemic causes debilitating illness, life threatening diseases and misery for millions of people. It is high time government did something effective about this problem."
Look at that - not a word about personal choice, just that the government must step in and take control.

The BBC article ends on a damning note though:
Over the past 10 years, the consumption of soft drinks containing added sugar has fallen by 9% while the incidence of obesity has increased by 15%.
So it's actually the health puritans looking for another target rather than sweet fizzy drinks being a problem then.

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