Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “A sugar tax would still increase the burden of taxation on both brewers and pubs, which already face high levels of tax, with both beer duty and business rates having a huge impact.
“For pubs, beer is certainly our mainstay but soft drinks, including low sugar and diet options, are still a vital part of the pub offer and a great choice for anyone driving.”
As the debate went onthe BBPA would make clear the fact that beer contained very little sugar and a significant amount of other, beneficial carbohydrates, she added.
This comes as the Member of the Commons’ Health Select Committee announced this morning they would back the introduction the tax in a childhood obesity report, placing extra pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron.
However, manufacturer AB Sugar said the committee’s recommendations over-simplified an ‘extremely complex’ issue.
Whilst the company agreed that the obesity crisis required ‘bold and urgent action’, there was no silver bullet solution, said Katharine Teague, head of advocacy at AB Sugar.
“Focusing so heavily on just one particular ingredient, as the report does, over simplifies the issues involved as is not an effective way to tackle the obesity crisis,” she said.
“Indeed, the suggestion that sugar is the main reason for the rise in obesity rates is simply not supported by the evidence – current UK government data shows that total sugars consumption has declined by 12.5% per capita since 2001, while obesity rates continue to rise.”
What was required, she added, was a broad policy approach developed by a cross-disciplinary taskforce and the implementation of ‘holistic measures based on robust scientific evidence’.