Plans for a “sugar tax” in the UK that would see soft drink manufacturers slugged more depending on the amount of white stuff in their carbonated beverages have hit a hurdle with reports a number of the companies affected are planning to sue.
According to reports in the UK’s The Guardian and The Sunday Times a number of the beverage makers – including Coca-Cola – already have plans in place to challenge the tax.
The reports say the government is aware of the challenge that will be made through European Courts and not British ones.
The beverage makers say that the tax is unfair as it only targets carbonated soft drinks such as Coke and Fanta and not other sugary drinks such as sports drinks, fruit juices and flavoured milks.
When the tax was announced last week, shares in many of the bottlers fell sharply and many pundits believe the manufacturers have a solid case.
The vice president of Coca-Cola in the UK, Den Hollander, has denied claims that soft drinks make people fat and added that he did not believe an extra tax on the drinks would curb childhood obesity.
“We just believe there’s no proof or evidence that sugar tax works,” Hollander was quoted as saying in the British press. “There’s no evidence that calories significantly reduce after sugar tax.”
A number of countries have already introduced a similar tax including Denmark, France, Mexico, Norway and South Africa which has added about 5 per cent to the cost of a can of soft drink. The evidence is still not in to see if it has been successful or not; particularly in European countries who can import in drinks from neighbouring countries without the tax.
There has been strong support for the tax to be implemented in Australia.