Soft drink companies may be mounting a UK Sugar Tax challenge. Announced as part of George Osborne’s budget, a Sugar Tax is proposed to take effect in 2018 in an effort to tackle rising rates of obesity and poor dental health.
Representatives from large manufacturers such as Britvic, Coca Cola and AG Barr are currently undertaking discussions with the government. This is in an attempt to avoid a long and expensive legal battle.
Such legal actions have been successful in both Denmark and Finland, where manufacturers argued that their products were being singled out unfairly in comparison to products such as fruit juices. Fruit juices and even milkshakes can often have a comparably high sugar level with soft drinks.
A UK Sugar Tax challenge from soft drink manufacturers was to be expected. Large global companies have a track record in challenging any risk to their profit margins. These profits also allow them to run long legal campaigns, which governments often do not have the time or funds to fight. Whether the Westminster government can push the tax through despite the legal and fiscal power of these companies is an ongoing story which we will keep an eye on.
Sugar Tax: Soft Drink Giants to Sue Government [via the Week]