American businessman and politician, former mayor of new york city
Noncommunicable diseases are a growing global crisis, especially in low-and-middle income countries. There’s substantial evidence that taxes and fiscal policies are essential to confronting this health threat.
I am not prepared to look back at my time here in this Parliament, doing this job and say to my children's generation 'I'm sorry. We knew there was a problem with sugary drinks. We knew it caused disease. But we ducked the difficult decisions and we did nothing'.
We have strong evidence from around the world that raising taxes on products like tobacco, sugar sweetened beverages and alcohol is highly effective at reducing harmful consumption and saving lives. I think this is about as close to free-lunch, win-win policy as economists have found
The childhood obesity strategy needs to tackle the problem from every angle, but to leave out a sugary drinks tax would miss an important opportunity to tackle the single biggest contributor of the sugar in teenagers’ diets. There is compelling evidence it would work and do so quickly.
There is a clear relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and a host of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and tooth decay. We are at a crucial tipping point. The SWEET Act would help correct the path we are currently on.
The soft drinks industry levy is an important step forward in the fight to halt our obesity crisis and create a Britain fit for the future. Obesity is a threat both to the health of children and to our economy, costing the NHS billions of pounds every year.