Leon joins Jamie Oliver in slapping on 10p 'sugar tax' in restaurants

Restaurant chain Leon has announced it will slap on its own sugary drinks tax, after Jamie Oliver presented a documentary on the health impacts of sugar on Channel 4 last night in his continued crusade against unhealthy eating.

Sugar: Jamie Oliver and Leon are implementing their own sugar tax
Sugar: Jamie Oliver and Leon are implementing their own sugar tax
Soft drinks brands spend a lot of money convincing us that their drinks are cool. What’s actually cool is that this levy can help redress the damage done by the average 21 teaspoons of sugar a child consumes a day

The restaurant chain will add a 10p charge on drinks with added sugar from 17 September, the proceeds of which will be donated to The Children’s Health Fund.

Pressure has been building on sugary drinks in recent years and last night Jamie Oliver declared "absolute war" on the white stuff. The chef has already announced his own 10p tax on sugary drinks across his restaurant estate in June. 

"We estimate that we will raise £50,000 over the next year with the added charge," Leon said. 

"Soft drinks brands spend a lot of money convincing us that their drinks are cool. What’s actually cool is that this levy can help redress the damage done by the average 21 teaspoons of sugar a child consumes a day."

Jamie Oliver, with Sustain, launched a petition calling on government to add a sugar tax on soft drinks. The petition has racked up more than 49,000 signatories and a response is imminent. 

However the FDF lashed out at the move as "regressive, ineffective and unworkable" and instead highlighted what it said was "inconsistent" commitment by both chains. 

"I do find it inconsistent that the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group and Leon Restaurant Group, neither of which provide nutrition labelling on in-store menus or support Government's drive to reduce calories, have chosen to tax customers choosing soft drinks," said director general Ian Wright.