“We want to engage positively with the Government, and we are committed to the principle of consumers being able to make informed choices about their food and drink purchases.
“Whilst this is a strategy aimed at targeting childhood obesity, we are concerned that some measures contained in the report will ultimately increase the burden of taxation on pubs and put up prices of soft drinks for pubgoers.
“The sugar levy will come as an additional tax on pubs, who already face very high levels of taxation, with both beer duty and Business Rates having a huge impact. Although it is good to see confirmation that pubs will not have to register under the tax, we do remain concerned that non-alcoholic beers could be caught by the levy. Whilst we appreciate that the Government is continuing to look at how these could be excluded, a sugar tax on beverages aimed at providing a low-strength alternative for adults is not within the spirit of the strategy.
“It is good to see that the Government is pursuing more of a partnership approach, in choosing not to pursue mandatory calorie information on menus. This would have been very challenging for smaller pub operators, where menus vary significantly from site to site, and even from day to day. Pub owners should be able to help provide key messages about healthy eating and lifestyle in a way most suited to their business and customers.”