We are extremely disappointed to see that the Chancellor Gordon Brown has not reduced VAT on fruit juices to 5% in his latest budget.
Two thirds of people are still not getting their daily requirement of five portions of fruit and veg and we, along with The Grocer (12 August 2006, p3), think it's madness to tax fruit juice at 17.5%, but zero rate foods such as hotdogs.
Innocent and our drinkers have been campaigning for this simple step, which would lead to more than 500 million more portions of fruit being eaten each year in the UK.
Indeed our drinkers actually wrote to their MPs to highlight this issue. There is currently an Early Day Motion (EDM 558) in parliament and 58 MPs have signed up? to it so far.
The good news in the budget included a whole host of incentives for the environment, from biofuels to efficient cars and zero carbon homes. But there was little to encourage the health of our nation.
As well as lower VAT on juices, we would like to have seen free, healthy school meals for all primary school children.
A trial in Hull has experienced a 90% take up of these healthy lunches and a real change in the behaviour and performance of those children.
Sometimes it is the simple, obvious measures that work best to encourage positive behaviour. A tax on healthy drinks? It simply doesn't add up.