Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has urged Australia to impose a tax on sugary soft drinks after Britain did the same to tackle obesity.
UK’s Finance Minister George Osborne has announced the imposition of tax on soft drinks that contained more than five grammes of sugar per 100 millilitres of content. He added that the nation will introduce the tax in two years to reduce the growing obesity levels in children. The announcement by the finance minister was made on Wednesday while he read out the measures highlighted in his annual budget statement.
“We all know one of the biggest contributors to childhood obesity is sugary drinks,” he said. “I am not prepared to look back at my time here in this parliament, doing this job and say to my children’s generation, ‘I’m sorry. We knew there was a problem with sugary drinks. We knew it caused disease but we ducked the difficult decisions.'”
When chef Jamie Oliver came to know about the Conservative government’s relevant move on addressing the obesity issue, he posted an online video and urged Australia to work in the same manner as Britain. The list also was a call to other nations like Canada and Germany, besides Australia. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he has been campaigning for a sugar tax for a long time and hence praised the UK government for such a surprising move.”It’s about time your governments got on this,” he said in a video posted on Facebook. “Australia, pull your finger out.”
The chef predicted that the proposal was brave and bold and hence would “travel right around the world to Canada, to Australia.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale also praised the UK government’s take and mentioned it as a real interesting proposal. “Why can’t we have a tax, that we know what it does is discourage unhealthy choices from people, and that money could be reinvested back into the health system?” the ABC quoted him as saying.