Commenting on the announcement that the Chancellor has introduced a new soft drinks industry levy to encourage companies to reduce the amount of sugar in the drinks they produce, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale said:
“With the estimated cost of obesity to the UK economy standing at £27bn, taking steps towards reducing sugar consumption in young people is clearly a priority for the Government. However for retailers the introduction of a new “sugar tax” will mean increases in costs which they then may choose to pass on to consumers.
“It is unclear whether education, regulation or a tax will be the cure for obesity, but for retailers, the introduction of a levy may seem heavy handed when there are various other options to explore. Regulation, for example, could be a step in the right direction, with quotas imposed on soft drinks to not exceed a certain level of sugar/ calories. Many in the retail industry may therefore feel announcing a tax on sugary drinks before further consultation, could be perceived as premature.”
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