Sugar taxes in the UK: Populist case not tackling real concerns or should we follow suit?

The proposed ‘sugar tax’ adopted by the UK was deemed in the food industry and beyond as little more than populist light relief to brighten the impending gloom felt during the Brexit vote. But what’s worse argues Professor Jack Winkler, is that the government’s ‘pseudo-consultation’ about the tax is now evading every big question worth asking.

Should for example ‘slushy’ ices or dissolvable powders be subjected to the proposed ‘soft drinks industry levy’ in the UK? What about those lattes laced with caramel shot’s? Such existential issues are among the 46 specific questions that make up the UK government’s formal consultation on the levy, humanely rebranded by the media there as the ‘Sugar tax’.

There are no questions about the other major sources of sugar in the diet for example such as chocolate, cereals, ice-cream or indeed the white stuff itself. In short, it evades every question worth asking about the tax and Ireland should only consider a more well rounded proposal that tackles the big questions posed. To conclude, if you want to cut sugar specifically, then tax sugar itself, not one category that contains sugar, i.e. soft drinks.