Calls for Sugary Drinks Tax to pay for new wave of school drinking fountains

02 April 2018

  • Pilot sugary drinks tax helped 146,000 children benefit from improved access to drinking water
  •  Two and a half years on from launch of pilot tax, the Children’s Health Fund has provided grants totalling £162,000 to improve children’s health
  • 1,000 families also benefitting during summer holidays with Fund supporting projects addressing holiday hunger

The Children’s Health Fund, which pioneered the Sugary Drinks Levy in the UK is calling for some of the Government’s Soft Drinks Industry Levy which starts on April 6 to go towards a new wave of school drinking water fountains.

The Fund which is closing in the coming months was set up by the charity Sustain and Jamie Oliver in 2015, has seen restaurants including Jamie’s Italian, LEON, Tortilla and Abokado trialling a voluntary Sugary Drinks Levy, adding 10p to their sugary drinks with proceeds going to projects around the UK which improve children’s health. With over a hundred restaurants on board, the Fund has supported almost 50 projects improving access to tap water, and food provision in holiday activities.

Jamie Oliver, who helped to launch the Fund said, “The Children’s Health Fund has done a brilliant job showing how a tax on sugary drinks can bring in new money that can be funnelled into doing good things. We used it to fight holiday hunger for vulnerable kids as well as improving access to water fountains.”

He continued, “None of us like taxes but this tax, which let’s remember, polled at 69% approval rating from the public, is a tax for good and when the Sugar Tax starts in April, that is new money into the department of education to fund breakfast clubs and sport.”

Ben Reynolds, Deputy CEO of Sustain, who helped launch and administer the Fund said, “Our fund was inundated with hundreds of applications from schools for water fountains. We were shocked at the gaps in provision. It seems like an easy win for the Government as these fountains can cost as little as a few hundred pounds and can hugely improve children’s access to tap water, providing an alternative to sugary bottled drinks. This solution is good for children’s health and reduces the plastic burden on the environment.

He continued, “It’s job done for the fund as we’ve not only made the case for a Levy reducing consumption of sugary drinks, but that the money raised should go to projects that improve children’s health like the ones we’ve supported. Now we’re passing the baton onto Government.”

Contacts

Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities
lballin@soilassociation.org

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association
www.soilassociation.org


Food Matters
www.foodmatters.org


Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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