Soft drinks manufacturers and traders have paid an extra £153.8 million in tax since April, due to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL).
The tax was introduced in April 2018 and applies to the packaging and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar. It was introduced as part of the government’s initiative to tackle childhood obesity by encouraging manufacturers to reduce the sugar content in their drinks products.
When George Osborne, the former chancellor, announced the tax in 2016, he forecast it would raise around £520 million a year. However, manufacturers moved quickly to reformulate their drinks in order to avoid the levy. The estimates were revised in April to £240 million.
Revenue collected from the levy is used to help fund physical education activities in primary schools, the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund and provide a funding boost for breakfast clubs in over 1,700 schools.
More than 450 traders have registered to pay the levy, according to the Treasury. “Today’s figures show the positive impact the soft drinks levy is having by raising millions of pounds for sports facilities and healthier eating in schools, as well as encouraging manufacturers to cut sugar in over half the drinks found in UK stores,” said the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick.