Retailers could be forced to contend with a raft of new regulations after a leaked copy of the Government’s original obesity strategy prompted renewed calls for action.
We asked retailers: are you worried about the Government intervening on the sale of food and drink products to tackle the UK’s problem with obesity?
I think the Government’s putting too much pressure on small retailers when it comes to trying to change the public’s eating habits. They’re piling the responsibility on retailers rather than parents. Obviously when it comes to serving under 18s and under 16s we’re responsible, but the red tape and extra costs they’re imposing are holding us back.
Harj Gill, Select & Save The Windmill, Birmingham
It feels like small retailers are always being blamed for things. If a new law comes in, it’s never for our benefit – our needs don’t get recognised. The Government is coming down heavy on retailers, and our voices are just ignored. We’re struggling with so many regulations, and it’s not just the sugar tax – it’s carrier bags, cigarettes and so on. The worst part is that we’re given next to no guidance on how to deal with it all.
Jay Patel, Jay’s Budgens, Brockley, south-east London
The sugar tax will probably be a bit like the carrier bag charge. It will possibly affect us to start with, but then people will go back to what they were doing before. If that means paying a little bit more, they probably will. It obviously depends where your shop is, but that’s the experience we’ve had since adopting the 5p carrier bag charge for charity.
Christine Southern, Southerns Newsagents, Maidstone, Kent