Sustain (a UK food charity) have said that the tax could make the Government up to £1billion a year. The move could also save the NHS money in the long term as it discourages excessive consumption of unhealthy drinks. The NHS’ bill for diet related illnesses currently stands at £6billion a year.
The report on the matter has received the backing of more than 60 organisations which include Friends of the Earth, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal Society for Public Health and the National Heart Forum.
The money raised by the tax could also be used to fund schemes to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables. The campaign manager for Sustain, Charlie Powell, said;
“Sugar-laden drinks are mini-health time bombs, contributing to dental diseases, obesity and a host of life-threatening illnesses which cost the NHS billions each year.
“We are delighted that so many organisations want to challenge the Government to show it has a public health backbone by including a sugary drinks duty in Budget 2013.
“It’s a simple and easy-to-understand measure which will help save lives by reducing sugar in our diets and raising much-needed money to protect children’s health.”
The chairman added; “Just as we use fiscal measures to discourage drinking and smoking and help prevent people from dying early, there is now lots of evidence that the same approach would work for food.
“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.”
The Obesity problem in the UK has forced the NHS to invest heavily in specialised medical supplies to cater for the gargantuan proportions of some patients and with the cost of renting a specially reinforced and sized bed for some patients reaching £300 per day it is a costly problem for the country as a whole.