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Jamie Oliver calls on David Cameron to introduce sugar tax



Yesterday Jamie Oliver told MPs that David Cameron need to be“be brave” and show big business “who is boss” by introducing a tax on sugary drinks. Oliver was speaking before the Commons Health Select Committee as part of his campaign to cut the country’s sugar consumption.

He proposed a 20% hypothecated (money for a specific purpose) tax per litre on sugary drinks. He argued this could raise £1bn to be shared between the NHS and primary schools.

Oliver said that in his conversations with the Prime Minister, he did not think a sugar tax had been “written off”. He told the Committee: “The discussions I’ve had are robust and Mr Cameron is reviewing everything, [and] seems to be interrogating it really well.

“We need to make sure that he is brave.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “This Government is committed to turning the tide on childhood obesity. That is why we are developing a comprehensive strategy looking at all the factors, including sugar consumption, that contribute to a child becoming overweight and obese. This will be published in the coming months.”

Jamie’s Sugar Manifesto from Sugar Rush

  1. My big aim: introduce the sugary drinks tax
  2. Legislate the responsibility deal
  3. Ban all junk food marketing on TV before 9pm & create more robust digital marketing regulations to protect our children
  4. Make the traffic light labelling system mandatory for all front-of-pack packaging
  5. Show sugar content in teaspoons on front of pack for all sugary drinks

In 2014 a study, commissioned by consultancy firm McKinsey, revealed obesity had the second-largest economic impact on the UK behind smoking. The current rate of obesity and overweight conditions suggest the cost to the NHS could increase from between £6 billion and £8 billion in 2015 to between £10 billion and £12 billion in 2030.


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