Devon County Council’s public health bosses thank MP for her ‘influence’ on Sugar Tax policy

Posted on: 16 March 2016

Devon’s Director of Public Health and Cabinet Member for Improving Health and Wellbeing have sent their congratulations to Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston, who chairs the Health Select Committee, following the Chancellor’s budget announcement on a proposed tax on sugary drinks.

The announcement follows a recent Select Committee debate on childhood obesity, and Dr Wollaston’s call for a hypothecated tax to be introduced on sugary drinks, which could be used to fund initiatives to tackle childhood obesity.

The proposal from Dr Wollaston has received strong backing from Devon County Council’s public health bosses, who say the money could be spent on oral health programmes and support for children and families to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

The announcement today by Chancellor George Osborne has been welcomed by Dr Pearson and Andrea Davis, who have written to Dr Wollaston to congratulate her on her role in the legislation change.

Dr Pearson said:  “I want to congratulate Dr Wollaston on helping to influence the virginia pearsonChancellor on his Budget Statement today regarding the new Sugar Tax.

“I was delighted the Health Select Committee had a chance to hear what Directors of Public Health were saying – and I am sure that Dr Wollaston’s leadership on this issue has contributed enormously.”

The Chancellor outlined in his speech that the hypothecated tax would be ringfenced to fund sports activities for primary schools.

Cllr Andrea Davis said: “There is already strong support for giving primary schools Cllr Andrea Davismore time and resources to focus more on physical activities for younger children, so this is a welcome move.

“Obesity is fast becoming the biggest risk to our population’s health, and we need to act now to address it, so it’s fantastic news that the Chancellor has recognised this.  Countries like Mexico have seen a significant decline in consumption of sugary drinks since the sugar tax was introduced, and it is having the greatest effect on those whose health is poorest.

“I’d really like to thank Sarah Wollaston for her tenacity and ambition in bringing this issue to the forefront, and we will continue to look for ways we can tackle obesity locally, particularly among our children.”

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing | Politics