The Chancellor described the drop in proposed funds from the sugar tax as ‘good news’ in his Spring Budget for 2017.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond’s announcement has led to the BSDHT believing the tax is having the desired effect, persuading manufacturers to reduce the amount of sugar in their products.
‘What we appear to have seen here is evidence of positive action from soft drink manufacturers to reduce the amount of sugar in their products, which in turn will hopefully see a positive effect on the nation’s oral health,’ president of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), Helen Minnery, said.
‘Every year, more than 40,000 children have decayed teeth removed under general anaesthetic, this is heart-breaking.
‘It is clear that food and drink manufacturers who produce sugar-filled products have a responsibility to protect their customers and the prospect of a “sugar tax” has finally resulted in them making the necessary changes to address this responsibly.
‘We hope that it continues and makes real difference to the state of the UK’s oral health.
‘We are optimistic that the actions made by manufactures can result in less people entering dental practices, as well as A&E departments, with shocking levels of sugar-related problems.’
The sugar tax on soft drinks will place an estimated 18p per litre for manufacturers on fizzy drinks.
It is due to come into effect in April 2018, however manufacturers have already started taking steps to reduce the amount of sugar in their products.
Earlier this Nestlé pledged to reduce the sugar content of all of its snacks in the UK and Ireland by 10%, the equivalent of 7,500 tonnes of sugar.
‘Despite the pleasing moves made by some manufacturers to cut the amount of sugar in their products, we are disappointed that there seems to be no sustained effort by government to build on the current sugar tax proposals, which fall short when addressing pure fruit juices, milk-based drinks and multi-packs,’ Helen Minnery continued.
‘Furthermore, no money from the sugar tax has been pledged to treat dental health problems caused by sugar consumption.
‘Something we have worked hard alongside dental health organisations to correct since its announcement, but these calls seen to have fallen on deaf ears.’