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Jamie Oliver welcomes 'profound' sugar tax

By Sophie Witts , 16-Mar-2016
Last updated on 17-Mar-2016 at 10:11 GMT2016-03-17T10:11:49Z

Jamie Oliver welcomes 'profound' sugar tax

Jamie Oliver has welcomed the Government’s ‘bold’ move to introduce a tax on sugary drinks.

It comes after the celebrity chef warned he would ‘go ninja’ on David Cameron if ministers failed to introduce the levy.

George Osborne announced in today’s budget that from 2018 drinks companies would have to pay a tax based on the amount of sugar per 100ml of liquid.

Writing on Instagram Oliver said: “We did it guys! We did it! A sugar levy on sugary sweetened drinks…a profound move that will ripple around the world…business can not come between our kids health!”

He went on to call the tax ‘bold, brave and logical’ and supported by ‘all the right people’.

“Now bring on the whole [childhood obesity] strategy soon to come…amazing news,” he said.

Healthier children

LEON co-founder John Vincent, whose restaurants also introduced a voluntary 10p sugary drinks levy in September, was also thrilled with the news.  

“All credit to George Osborne for having the vision to introduce a levy on sugary drinks in the Budget. The voluntary sugar tax that Jamie Oliver and Leon introduced in September 2015 showed what could be done," he said. "What is so good is that the money raised will be spent directly on things that will help make children healthier.”

LEON raised more than £50k from the sugary drinks levy in five months with the money going to Sustain's Children's Health Fund to improve the health and food education of children in the UK.

It is estimated that Osborne's tax will raise £520m to fund sport in primary and secondary schools.

Oliver – who has introduced a 10p tax on sugary drinks across his UK restaurants - has been outspoken in calling for a levy on sweetened drinks.

He previously criticised past Government’s for doing ‘an incredible disservice to children’ by failing to clamp down on unhealthy diets.

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