On the 6th April 2018 the new soft drinks industry levy will take effect.
Drinks which will be effected include drinks which meet the following conditions:
- it has a content of 1.2% alcohol by volume or less
- it’s either ready to drink, or to be drunk it must be diluted with water, mixed with crushed ice or processed to make crushed ice, mixed with carbon dioxide or a combination of these
- it’s packaged ready for sale
- it has had sugar added during production, including pure cane sugars like sucrose and glucose as well as substances (other than fruit juice, vegetable juice and milk) that contain sugar, such as honey
- it contains at least 5 grams (g) of sugar per 100 millilitres (ml) in its ready to drink or diluted form
The following are drinks exempt which:
- contains at least 75% milk
- are a milk-substitute which contains at least 120 milligrams of calcium per 100ml, for example soya or almond milk
- are an alcohol replacement drink, for example de-alcoholised beer or wine
- are infant formula, follow-on formula, baby foods, formulated food intended as a total diet replacement or dietary food used for special medical purposes
Although some obvious drinks such as Coke and Sprite will be effected (with approximately 6.6g per 100ml) less obvious examples such as some tonic waters will be caught also.
The applicable rate depends upon the amount of sugar in the product:
- 18p per litre if the drink has 5g of sugar or more per 100ml
- 24p per litre if the drink has 8g of sugar or more per 100ml
A 330ml can of Coke would therefore face a levy of approximately 6p per can.
Money raised by the levy, estimated to be over £500m, will be used to fund sports in primary schools.
The Gambling Commission has now published there review of the Online Gambling industry.
Following the implementation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014; which required online Operators whose services are available in Great Britain to obtain an Operating Licence from the Commission, Great Britain now has the largest regulated online gambling market in the world.
The Review includes a number of recommend policies aimed at making the industry safer for customers.
Proposed changes and action include:
- Further protecting children by banning operators from providing free-to-play demo games until a consumer’s age has been determined.
- Improving the speed and effectiveness of age verification processes.
- Ensuring operators set limits on consumers’ spending until affordability checks have been conducted.
- Tackling unacceptable marketing and advertising and unfair terms, and improving complaints and disputes procedures.
- Strengthening requirements to interact with consumers who may be experiencing, or are at risk of developing, problems with their gambling.
- The review also identifies five areas where the Commission is undertaking further work during the coming year.
The Commission is going to:
- Assess the effectiveness of the current tools available to consumers to manage their gambling.
- Review gambling product characteristics to identify whether particular features pose greater risk of harm than others.
- Review our requirements on the protection of customer funds and consider whether there are sufficient protections around dormant accounts.
- Consider whether gambling on credit should continue to be permitted.
- Consider whether we need to make changes to ensure that consumers can withdraw funds more easily.