Budget 2016: support for sugar tax, museums and sharing economy

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The Budget is always a mixed bag, and this year's is no exception: George Osborne's announcement that the Carbon Reduction Commitment will be abolished and £1 billion is to support the oil and gas industry hasn't gone down well with everyone. There was also no mention of the global climate change agreement made in Paris in 2015.

However, proponents of a sugar tax are celebrating the news that soft drinks companies will pay a levy on drinks that have a total sugar content of above 5g per 100ml, with a higher rate for more than 8g per 100ml, from April 2018. Milk-based drinks and fruit juices will be exempt.

The funds from the levy will double the additional money that primary schools have to spend on PE and sports to £320 million a year.

More activities will also be on offer at a quarter of secondary schools if they opt in to a longer school day from September 2017. Up to £285 million a year will pay for this.

Elsewhere, the sharing economy will benefit from new tax-free allowances from April 2017. The first £1,000 of income from sharing property, like renting out loft space for storage or a driveway for parking, will be tax free, as will the first £1,000 earned from occasional jobs such as selling handmade goods, renting power tools and providing a lift share.

In addition, a new tax relief for museums and galleries to stage temporary and touring exhibitions will be introduced from April 2017, with the intention of helping to create new exhibitions and to display them around the country.

Funding for HS3 between Leeds and Manchester, and Crossrail 2, connecting South-West and North-East London, has also been announced.

The entire Budget 2016 speech, complete with MPs' reactions, can be viewed below.

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