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Scotland mulls sugar taxes on businesses

20 January 2016

Scotland’s food watchdog has urged the country’s government to introduce a tax on sugar. 

In addition, there should be curbs on the advertising of certain foods as well as smaller portion sizes, according to a report published by Food Standards Scotland. 

However food processing industry bodies warn that penalising businesses would be detrimental to the economy. 

The recommendations come amid growing concern over unhealthy eating habits in Scotland. 

Chief Executive of the FSS Geoff Ogle said that adult obesity levels in Scotland could be as high as 40 per cent by 2030. 

“We're very aware there is no single silver bullet solution to reducing our obesity and overweight problem,” he said.

“But we do believe that the measures we are proposing are vital pieces of the jigsaw.”

However the recommendations have attracted criticism for placing the onus too firmly on small and medium businesses. 

Comprised of 875 businesses, 97 per cent of which are SMEs, the Scottish food and drink industry provides 34,000 high quality jobs and is responsible for 13.5 per cent of all Scottish manufacturing output.

David Thomson, chief executive of the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, said: “A successful and sustainable food and drink industry is essential to the success of our economy, the welfare of our industrious people and the protection of our unique environment.

“We call on the next Government in Scotland to create a coherent policy framework with food safety, security and resilience, sustainability and authenticity at its heart. We need Government to listen to the views of food and drink manufacturers when it comes to policy development.”

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