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Opinion : Bad news for children as schools are to stay open longer and plans are floated for sugar tax

| March 18, 2016


This week was Budget week, my good self was fearing tax increases that could push me yet further into the grips of poverty.

Normally it’s the adults who fact the brunt of the tax rises but this budget it seems even children were hit as plans were floated to keep schools open longer and the introduction of a tax on sugar.

According to news reports The Office for Budget Responsibility says the sugar tax could result in a ‘pretty substantial price rise‘ on products, as much as 80% on, for example, a two-litre bottle of own-brand cola.

It seems there will be two bands to the sugar tax, one for total sugar content above 5 grams per 100 millilitres and a second, higher band for the most sugary drinks with more than 8 grams per 100 millilitres. The levels of tax are yet to be set.

As for keeping the schools open longer, well, I think that’s an excellent move. As soon as school ends every day the streets are filled with marauding youngsters all trying the make their way home.

However by keeping the schools open longer I fear the swarms of mothers picking children up in cars could merge into the rush hour traffic from the workers going home from the factories, shops and offices of the town.

If the mothers end up making the rush hour traffic jams worse then surely it’s a bad move to make the school day longer.

What should really have happened was for the school holidays to have been shortened too. After all the children have far too much time off in the summer and Wycombe town centre becomes filled with gangs of adolescents hanging around in a menacing way during the school holidays.

Sadly the sugar tax is likely to hit my good self very hard as yours truly is partial to the odd tin (or two, or three….) of fizzy pop with my lunchtime sandwiches. It does not seem fair paying tax on a simple fizzy drink.

If they are going to tax sugar then surely bars of chocolate and sweets should be taxed too?

Oh my, when the sugar tax comes in it seems that my good self will be worse off financially as well as hundreds of school children who will find the tax man has taken a chunk of their pocket money.

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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