Douglas Carswell

16 MAR 2016

Obesity can't be stopped by fiat

Mums and dads will now have to pay more because George Osborne disapproves of their kids drinking Coke. The Chancellor says the Treasury will make £520 million a year from his new sugar tax on soft drinks. That's £520 million taken out of the pockets of families.

Of course there is a problem with obesity, which needs to be tackled. But the idea a fizzy drinks tax will solve the problem is absurd. What about Coco Pops? That's full of sugar. Bulmers cider apparently contains as much sugar as a can of Coke. Will that be subject to this new tax too?

What percentage of an obese child's obesity is caused by fizzy drinks? How much is caused by overeating pizza, burgers, and chocolate – or lack of exercise? Will there be a tax on all of that too?

Yet again, a politician thinks he can reshape the nation – literally, in this case – by grand design. The Chancellor is clearly thinking of his legacy. But he has done nothing today to tackle child obesity.

If people want to lose weight, they need to do what George Osborne did: eat less and move more.

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