Isle of Man to introduce 'sugar tax' on soft drinks

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Drinks and a pile of sugarImage source, PA
Image caption,
A so-called "sugar tax" on the Isle of Man could generate £1m in the first year, according to Treasury forecasts

A so-called "sugar tax" on soft drinks will be introduced on the Isle of Man in April 2018, Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan said in his budget speech.

The plans, similar to those due to be introduced in the United Kingdom, could generate more than £1m for the public purse in its first year, he said.

Money raised would help tackle obesity.

The UK government has already confirmed it will push ahead with its plan to introduce a Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) from 1 April 2018.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
TV chef Jamie Oliver has campaigned for the sugar tax in the UK

There will be two bands in the UK - one for soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and a higher one for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml.

In his maiden budget speech, Mr Cannan said government would invest the revenue in programmes to "reduce childhood obesity and encourage physical activity and balanced diets".

He predicted the tax take would fall over time as "producers and consumers shift their behaviour" away from high-sugar drinks.

Mr Cannan said the Treasury was negotiating with the UK to avoid the "headache of double taxation" for local businesses and government.

There will be an exemption for the smallest Manx producers and also businesses importing soft drinks from very small producers.

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