Health bosses in the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week welcomed the government’s budget announcement for a tax on high sugar drinks.

Trudi Grant, Somerset’s Director of Public Health, told “This is great news for the health of our families and children in Somerset.”

“It will help them to cut back on sugar, reducing childhood obesity and help to prevent tooth decay.”

“We want to do everything we can to support Somerset residents to eat healthily and be more active.”

The tax will be introduced in two years time to ensure companies reduce the sugar content of drinks and promote low sugar brands. Chancellor George Osborne said it was a “perfectly reasonable step” to protect children’s health.

“Money from this new levy will be used to double the funding we dedicate to sport in every primary school,” he said.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has estimated it could add 18-24p to the price of a litre of fizzy drink if the full cost is passed on to the consumer.

Ian Wright, director-general of the Food and Drink Federation, called the announcement “a piece of political theatre” and said the tax would lead to “less innovation and product reformulation, and for some manufacturers is certain to cost jobs. Nor will it make a difference to obesity.”