The Soft Drinks Industry Levy, nicknamed the 'Sugar Tax' by the media, is a key part of the government’s childhood obesity strategy and comes into force in April 2018


Glasses Containing Soft DrinksThe Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) will make soft drinks companies pay a charge for drinks with added sugar and total sugar content of five grams or more per 100 millilitres; about 5% sugar content. There is a higher charge for the drinks that contain eight grams or more per 100 millilitres, or about 8% sugar content.

This means that pure fruit juices won’t be taxed, because they don’t contain added sugar. Neither will drinks that have a high milk content, because they contain calcium and other nutrients that are vital for a healthy diet.

The government has emphasised that this is not a tax on consumers as companies don’t have to pass the charge on to their customers. If companies take the right steps to make their drinks healthier they will pay less tax, or even nothing at all.

Many countries including France, Finland, Hungary and Mexico have introduced taxes on soft drinks in various forms. The World Health Organisation has said that taxes are needed to help halt obesity rises across the globe.