‘It’s a scam!’ Sugar and salt tax would make prices of some food items soar by 40 percent

Sugar tax: Expert says people 'compensate in other ways'

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Britons have taken to social media to express their opinions on the Government’s potential sugar and salt tax. Some are unhappy with the possible change, claiming it will affect lower income households and make “people poorer” instead of thinner.

The world’s first Salt and Sugar Reformulation tax could be added to food products sold in shops, cafés, and canteens across England.

This will be a part of the country’s new National Food Strategy.

The initiative could also see the Government investing £50million into the development of alternative proteins that can be used as sustainable options in ready meals, such as plant-based foods or lab-grown meat.

Food tsar and adviser Henry Dimbleby has called on the Government to urgently tackle England’s obesity epidemic.

Mr Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy report was commissioned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and unveiled that poor diets contribute to 64,000 deaths in the country each year.

They also cost the economy around £74billion, according to the report.

The food tsar’s review said the food Britons eat and the way it is produced is negatively impacting the nation’s health and “doing terrible damage to the planet”.

However, the proposed sugar and salt tax could increase the prices of some foods, consequently affecting families from lower income households.

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The tax could add 1p to the price of a packet of crisps and 7.5p to a small chocolate bar.

The cost of strawberry jam could increase 46 percent, from £1.25 to £1.82.

Meanwhile, the price of soy sauce could rise 43 percent, from 60p to 86p.

These estimations are according to an analysis by a trio of think tanks.

The Tax Payers’ Alliance (TPA), Adam Smith Institute, and Institute of Economic Affairs predicted the sugar and salt tax would see an average family food bill increase by £172 each year.

If Mr Dimbleby’s review is passed by the Government, the tax would be implemented by the end of the decade.

After it was announced this week, the possible tax was slammed by Britons online.

Some claimed it was a “scam” to make the Government richer, and it would lead to the poorest families becoming poorer.

One person said on Twitter: “A wealth tax on parasites like Branson would help the NHS more than a sugar tax, which would hit those on low incomes hardest.”

Another person wrote: “I see sugar tax is trending bringing out all the ‘you can cook this for £1 in 10 minutes’ brigade. We should be making healthier food cheaper. Bringing cookery classes back to school from nursery to high school. Ousting this government asap.”

One person commented: “The proposed “sugar tax” isn’t about health, it isn’t about the NHS, it’s about taxation to pay for bigger government. Gov knows you won’t reduce your sugar intake. Just like a 20 a day smoker, doesn’t cut down on cigarettes. Though, tobacco taxes are sky high. It’s a scam.”

Another person fumed: “This latest salt and sugar tax is not about protecting health or NHS. It’s about gathering billions it will generate from food companies.”

One person added: “A sugar tax isn’t going to make poor people thinner, it’s just going to make them poorer.”

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