UK

Sugar Tax: Chocolate Bars Won't Be Covered By New Levy Despite Similar Ingredients

Not all sweet treats will be covered by Osborne's sugar tax.

16/03/2016 17:34 GMT | Updated 16/03/2016 17:49 GMT
JOHN THYS via Getty Images
George Osborne's new sugar tax won't apply to chocolate bars

The announcement on Wednesday of a sugar tax has made headlines for George Osborne.

The Chancellor's plan to apply a levy on sugar-sweetened soft drinks has rewarded campaigners who say it will help reduce childhood obesity. 

But the duty's restriction to certain kinds of fizzy pop means that a host of sugary treats won't be affected by the Increased tax.

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
George Osborne confirmed his plans for a sugar tax on fizzy drinks on Wednesday

A standard 330ml can of Sprite contains 22g of sugar, while some cola cans contain as much as 36g.

Sugar content of popular soft drinks

  • Coca-Cola 330ml - 35g per can
  • Pepsi Regular 330ml - 36g per can
  • Sprite Regular 330ml - 22g per can 
  • Fanta Orange 330ml - 40g per can

And the ingredients of popular chocolate bars reveal a host of sweet treats with similar sugar contents, but which won't be subject to the tax.

  • Mars - 30.5g of sugar per bar
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Mars bars contain 30.5g of sugar per bar.
  • Yorkie - 26.9g per bar
    Nestle
    Nestle Yorkie bars contain 26.9g of sugar per bar.
  • Double Decker - 29g per bar
    Cadbury
    Cadbury Double Decker bars contain 29g of sugar per bar.
  • Nutella and Go! - 21g per pack
    Ferrero
    Nutella and Go! snack packs contain 21g of sugar.
  • Dairy Milk - 25g per bar
    Matt Cardy via Getty Images
    Cadbury Dairy Milk bars contain 25g per bar.
  • KitKat Chunky - 22.1g per bar
    Steve Parsons/PA Archive
    KitKat Chunky bars contain 22.1g of sugar per bar.

The Chancellor revealed the sugar tax would kick in from 2018 and money raised from the levy would fund sports activities in primary schools.

Speaking to The Huffington Post UK, nutritionist Jo Travers agreed that a tax on sugar is "a great way of raising money for healthy school activities".

However, she was sceptical about whether the move will successfully reduce obesity figures. 

"We need to work from all angles to tackle the problem, but it may help. We will have to wait and see," she said. 

The tax could see the price of a can of fizzy drink rise by 8p.

Speaking from the Despatch Box as he delivered his Budget, Osborne said: "I am not prepared to look back at my time here in this Parliament, doing this job and say to my children's generation: 'I'm sorry. We knew there was a problem with sugary drinks. We knew it caused disease but we ducked the difficult decisions and we did nothing.'

"So today I can announce that we will introduce a new sugar levy on the soft drinks industry."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the tax, saying it was needed to tackle the "grotesque" levels of sugar consumed by children.

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