Tax Hike On Sugary Drinks
It was not long ago when international stakeholders, NGOs and Health authorities tried to subvert the smoking habit across the globe. Whether such attempts have been successful or not leads to an entirely different debate. However, there is one other commodity which seems to follow the smoking path, Sugar. In the recent past, the sugar industry as a whole has been facing severe limitations in terms of marketing, packaging, and logistics.
Taxes which followed cigarettes appear as soda tax or sugary drink tax, such taxes are primarily levied to discourage the consumption of sugary drinks. Think Tanks have further suggested revamping the packaging of sugary drinks as well to make them less appealing.
According to BBC News, IPPR director, Tom Kibasi believes, a packaging revamp might prove out to be fruitful and as per news reports it has. In one of WHO publications regarding taxing sugary drinks, “Taxes on Sugary Drinks, Why Do It?”, WHO was of the view that:
“To reduce over-consumption of sugars and halt
the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, countries need
comprehensive action plans that combine taxation,
restriction of marketing of sugary products
to children, and education.”
As the public perception towards sugar might not be the same as it is towards smoking or any other products which are injurious to health, industry players have stepped in to defend their right of branding.
Substantial proof exists that such taxes have resulted in a reduction of consumption. According to Reuters Health, residents of Berkeley, California reduced their soda consumption after a soda tax was implemented in the city. Owing to a healthier lifestyle, it seems that the authorities are adamant to reduce sugary drink consumption through taxation.
Whether or not such taxes restrain consumer choice and consumer freedom for that matter is an ongoing debate.