This week sees the introduction of another tax which will have a significant impact in the pub trade, a tax hike that seems to have gone quietly under the radar at present. However I’m sure it will get a bit more coverage in the coming weeks once everyone starts to feel & see the effects.
Since our kids getting fat because they are consuming gallons of sugar filled fizzy drinks Jamie Oliver thought it would be a good idea to get the government to tax them – to some this may seem a logical solution as who wants unhealthy kids. Go past any school in a morning and you will no doubt see kids downing large cans of energy drinks or creamy chocolate milkshakes crammed full of sugar and probably not doing much for the kids health and well-being, hence the sugar tax.
Drinks are taxed in two bands, there is a high band tax for those drinks that have more than 8g of sugar per 100ml and then a lower band for drinks of 5g to 8mg per 100ml with the rest being exempt. It is only applied to fizzy drinks and not pure fruit juices or milk based drinks (these are healthy?).
So let’s just have a look at two bottles of drink and see how the sugar tax works in practice
FRIJJ Chocolate Milk:
7.6g of fat
40.4g of sugar (10 teaspoons) – No Sugar Tax
FEVER TREE Elderflower tonic
0g of fat
16g of sugar (4 teaspoons) – Sugar Tax
Now I aren’t a dietary expert, as people who know we will testify, however if this tax is aimed at child obesity then why does a bottle of tonic water get taxed but not a chocolate milkshake? In my experience it isn’t very often that I see loads of kids in the pub swigging tonic water, just adults who can make their own decisions on buying what they like. So who exactly is the tax targeting because it surely can’t be childhood obesity on this logic?
It can’t be that much though surely I hear you say?
Everything varies and it is dependent on pack size and sugar content as to which band the products fall into, however it ranges 10% to 30% plus VAT cost price increases on the products we sell. Obviously pubs and retailers can’t absorb this cost and will have to pass it on to consumers, however this rise at the bar will make a considerable amount of difference to the selling price of with nobody gaining from it apart from £500m to the treasury in an attempt help make our children healthy.
So next time you go to the bar and your drink of pop or G&T has gone up by 30p or 40p please don’t moan at your friendly bar person, it isn’t their fault. Just give thanks to Jamie Oliver (please do let him know) and sleep easy in the knowledge that little Jonny or Jemma is not going to get fat because they now can’t afford to drink gallons of Elderflower tonic and the government has £500m to spend on getting them healthy.