The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA), Britain’s grassroots campaigning group dedicated to reforming taxes, has renewed its call for the Government to abandon its proposed Sugar Tax, as its new research reveals that it has little to do with the sugar content of the products it affects.

They have carried out a comparison of 49 drinks in three different groups: regular fizzy drinks as well as sports and energy drinks, and milk-based products (including coffees). The first group will be taxed, while the second and third groups will not.

Giving examples in the research, TPA said Coca-Cola (containing 10.6 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres) will be subject to Sugar Tax, but a Starbucks’ Signature hot chocolate with whipped cream and coconut milk (containing 11 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres) will not.

“Furthermore, energy drinks such as Monster Ori.gin (containing 11 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres) will be taxed, but Tesco chocolate flavoured milk (12.4 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres) will not. None of the 10 most sugary products analysed will be subject to Sugar Tax,” TPA’s spokesperson added.

TPA observed that, added to the mounting evidence that this tax will merely increase the cost of living for poorer families, the government should abandon this pernicious tax immediately.

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented that it was deeply concerning that the government has given in to the pressures from the public health lobby and is pushing ahead with this regressive tax, which will hit the poorest families hardest.

“Evidence shows that the Sugar Tax has nothing to do with the sugar content of products, so it is farcical to suggest that this will have any positive impact on people’s diet or lifestyle choices” he added.

He observed that this is yet another example of irresponsible meddling from the ‘High Priests of the Nanny State’, introducing entirely unnecessary complications into an already complicated tax system and pushing up the cost of everyday products for hard-pressed families.

TPA recalled that announced in the 2016 budget, the soft drinks industry levy (the ‘sugar tax’), will be paid by producers and importers of “water-based added sugar soft drinks” from April 2018. It is expected that the levy will have two rates (18 pence and 24 pence) dependent on the drink’s sugar content per litre. However, the government assume that all costs of the tax will be passed on to consumers.