The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced that the sugar tax on soft drinks will be used to fund sport in schools as part of the 2016 Budget.
Due to come in to force in 2018, soft drinks companies will pay a levy on drinks with added sugar. This will apply to drinks with total sugar content above 5 grams per 100 millilitres, with a higher rate for more than 8 grams per 100 millilitres. The money raised from this levy will be used to double the primary PE and sport premium to £320 million a year.
It was also announced that 25% of secondary schools will be able to opt in to a longer school day from September 2017 so that they can offer a wider range of activities for pupils, including sports and PE.
Other noteworthy Budget announcements include:
• A government consultation on how to expand the support that can be given to grassroots sports through the corporation tax.
• An investment of £1.5 million in child prosthetics, giving hundreds of children with limb deficiency access to sports prosthetics, and creating a fund to incentivise the development of new breakthrough innovative prosthetic products for the NHS.
• Horserace Betting Levy reform – The government has set out a timetable for replacing the current Horserace Betting Levy by April 2017. This will give British horseracing the right to funds from offshore remote betting operators.
• £500,000 of funding for an international marketing campaign for the Tour de Yorkshire 2016.
• The government also supports plans to bid to host the Rugby League World Cup in the Northern Powerhouse.
Commenting on these announcements, Emma Boggis, Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said:
“The Budget 2016 has a lot of positive outcomes for sport and recreation. The funding for sport in both primary and secondary schools from the reinvestment of the sugar levy will deliver more opportunities to get children of a young age active, which is crucial if they are to stay active in later life. There is a great opportunity for our members to engage with the education sector to deliver high quality sport and physical activity so that that the experiences of young people are positive.
Sport and recreation makes a strong contribution to our economy which is why it is vital the industry is supported so it is good to see Government valuing the social and economic impact we see from hosting international tournaments.”