George Osborne’s New Sugar Tax Will Make A Can Of Coke 8p More Expensive

The chancellor is adding a levy to sugary drinks in 2018 to curb childhood obesity. This means your favourite fizzy drinks could be about to become more expensive.

Anthony Devlin / PA WIRE

Coca Cola

The chancellor, George Osborne, announced in the Budget today that the government will introduce a levy on sugary drinks in a bid to curb rising childhood obesity.

From April 2018, a tax of 18p or 24p per litre, depending on the sugar content, will be added to the drinks – which the government expects to “be passed entirely onto the price paid by consumers,” as set out in the Treasury’s costings.

According to BuzzFeed News’ calculations, that could equate to 8p per 330ml can of full-sugar Coca-Cola and any other soft drink with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml. Other drinks that will be impacted include Ribena, Luzozade Original, Pepsi and Fanta.

The chancellor said fruit juices and dairy drinks, as well as small manufacturers, would be exempt but that a tax would help reduce sugar consumption among children, the majority of whom could be overweight or obese within a generation.

Osborne said he estimated that more than £500 million could be raised by the tax in the first year and it would be used to boost school sports.

Food industry and campaigning group sources told BuzzFeed News the move had come as a surprise given prime minister David Cameron had previously ruled out the introduction of a sugar tax, despite intense lobbying from health campaigners.

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