The King's Fund responds to the 2016 Budget

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Responding to the sugar tax and other changes announced in today’s budget, David Buck, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said: ‘Childhood obesity is one of the most significant public health challenges facing the UK – so the Chancellor’s surprise tax on sugary drinks will provide welcome revenue for funding schools sports and other activities. The levy could be a helpful addition to the UK’s approach to addressing obesity, but details need to be ironed out. To have most impact, it will need to be at a sufficient level to change behaviour, be well designed and targeted, and be part of a broader strategy on obesity.

‘The Chancellor also announced the abolition of business rates for small businesses, which could result in a £7 billion loss in revenues, a third of business rate revenues. Public health spending is going to fall by at least £600 million in real terms by 2020/21, on top of £200 million cuts this year, so it is essential that this does not result in further cuts to public health budgets in future.’

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.