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Businesses start the fight back on sugar tax

When the prospect of a sugar tax was announced a few months ago, we wrote a post about what the food and drink industry might do in response.

Now the major players have started to flex their muscles in earnest. This week, British Sugar, the British Soft Drinks Association, the British Beer and Pub Association and the Federation of Wholesale Distributors have all teamed up, calling on the government to scrap the tax.

Their campaign focuses on potential job losses in the soft drinks industry should the proposed tax come to pass, drawing on a recent report from Oxford Economics that warned more than 4,000 jobs could be on the line.

Paul Keyword, managing director of British Sugar said in an interview with The Telegraph: “We question if a tax is the appropriate measure… there is no credible evidence that a sugar tax will prompt a change in consumer behaviour.”

In response, a Treasury spokesperson said: “The levy is about getting producers to use healthier ingredients to reduce the levels of added sugar in products our children consume. If they reformulate, they won’t have to pay.”

Writing for Broccoli and Brains earlier this year, journalist Tanya Gold didn’t think the sugar tax would make any difference. What do you think?