Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sugar tax

The Times backs NHS England's call for a sugar tax

It would provide a badly needed saving of £500,000 on England's health bill. The Government has  committed to increasing NHS funding in England by £10 billion in real terms by 2020-21, above 2014-15 levels, but all the same a £2 billion gap has opened up in their budget for 2015-16 alone.

The right way to deal with this is through fiscal attacks on self-harm, including not only the sugar tax, but higher duties on alcohol and tobacco. The Government estimated the cost of alcohol harm at £21 billion a year in 2012; restoration of Osborne's duty reductions, and some judicious additional duties on top of that could generate revenue of £1 billion and at the same time cut hospital admissions by 50,000 a year.

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