Oliver applauds Chancellor for taking bold sugar tax step

The Chancellor George Osborne unveiled plans in the Budget for a new 24p-a-litre tax on drinks that contain over 10g of sugar per 100g. Tonic water and lower sugar fizzy drinks - 5g of sugar per 100g - will face an 18p a litre rate when the tax comes into force in two years time. Fruit juices and milk-based drinks are not included on the tax.

Known for his views and action on healthier food and drinks for children, chef and restauranteur Jamie Oliver has previously suggested a 20p levy per litre on all sugary soft drinks, as they are the largest single source of sugar consumption for school-age children and teenagers.

Oliver responded to the Budget's result on sugary drinks tax, 'This feels like a victory for Britain's children and for everyone who has campaigned so hard for a tax on sugary sweetened drinks.

'I would love the money to go to food education as well as sport but I think we have to applaud the Chancellor for taking this extremely important, bold step.

Oliver concluded, 'I hope that this bravery will continue to form a part of this Government’s attitude to dealing with obesity and will influence the Prime Minister’s Childhood Obesity strategy later in the year.'

The £530m raised by a tax on the sugar content of soft drinks - the equivalent of about 18-24p per litre, the government says - will be spent on primary school sports in England, with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland free to decide how to spend their share.

Osborne's sugar tax announcement sparked a big fall in the share price of soft drinks makers.