UK Politics

Budget 2016: How has Osborne's spoonful of sugar tax gone down?

Sugary drinks Image copyright PA

One of the major talking points following this year's Budget is the introduction of a new tax on sugary soft drinks to tackle childhood obesity.

The £530m raised by a levy on the sugar content of soft drinks will be spent on primary school sports, according to Chancellor George Osborne.

There was mixed reaction to the new levy with some sweet on the idea, but others slightly more bitter.

Image copyright @LukeBurstow/Twitter
Image copyright @AbiWilks/Twitter

In the immediate hours after the Chancellor delivered his Budget, the hashtag #Budget2016 was tweeted an estimated 175,000 times, while the search term "sugar tax" was used around 14,000 times on the social media platform.

Some referred to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's Opposition response, where he welcomed Mr Osborne's sugar tax but said the Budget overall had "unfairness at its core".

Image copyright @MsNaughtyCheese/Twitter
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Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver - an exponent of healthier diets, particularly among children - quickly posted his reaction on Instagram which got over 40,000 likes.

Image copyright Jamie Oliver

Again, the reaction in turn to the celebrity campaigner's tweet was both sweet and sour.

Image copyright @gabyhinsliff/Twitter
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Meanwhile, the exact sugary drinks to be affected became an issue in itself with some choosing to focus on the various - political and non-political - implications for the brands in question and their loyal customers.

Image copyright @RobNisbetSky/Twitter
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Many were also quick to notice the fact - crucially for some - that while a tax had been placed on sugary beverages, beer and cider duty were left alone, along with any levy on whisky and other spirits.

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Clearly an issue that affects all ages and lifestyles, then - regardless of their political persuasion.

Compiled by Stephen Fottrell.

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