17/08/2016 10:52 BST | Updated 18/08/2017 06:12 BST

The Soft Drinks Tax Will Harm Newsagents Across The Country

The British corner shop is currently facing attacks from all sides. Property prices are rising and the cost of produce is also going up.

Business rates have yet to be reformed, and consumers are turning to local micro supermarket brands instead of their corner shop.

And now, the Soft Drinks Tax is set to negatively hit local shops and pubs across the nation.

We recognise that tackling obesity is of critical importance, and support the Government's moves to do so.

But the Soft Drinks Tax has been proven to be ineffective across the globe, based on weak evidence, and is forecasted to have a large and negative impact on the economy and local jobs.

Back in March, we wrote to the then-Chancellor, asking him not to ignore the needs of small and independent retailers when delivering his budget.

And while that budget had some wins for independent retailers - the impact of the Soft Drinks Tax (a last minute sweetener to make the medicine go down) was largely overlooked and underestimated by Osborne.

New figures released this month show that the tax will lead to over 4,000 job losses, and a £132m decline in UK GDP.

The soft drinks sector is the fifth biggest contributor to convenience store sales. It stocks businesses from convenience stores to hotels, in towns from Devon to Aberdeenshire.

It's because of this that we've decided to join the Face The Facts, Can The Tax Coalition campaign - to raise awareness of the need for an evidence based approach to tackling obesity.

As the voice of the independent retailers representing over 15,000 independent news and convenience retailers throughout the UK and Ireland, we are calling for a solution that will effectively tackle obesity without having a largely detrimental impact on our local independent businesses.

The tax could cost individual retailers £8,100 per year in sales. This is no small amount for small businesses.

We agree wholeheartedly that the Government must take immediate action to tackle obesity. It's a growing problem that is effecting the health of millions across the country, and costing our NHS a hefty ticket too.

But this tax won't work, and will only hurt local businesses, suppliers and consumers.

Corner shops are quite literally the cornerstone of our local economies. As she's taken up her mantle as Prime Minister, Theresa May has talked about building a society that works for everybody.

It's time for her to take action on that claim, face the facts - and can this harmful and ineffective tax.

Find out more about the campaign here: