'Too premature to speak about taxing soft drinks' - shadow sports minister

PN to hold national conference on obesity next year

Robert Cutajar with Gordon Galea (right) and David Agius (left) Photo by Ray Attard
Robert Cutajar with Gordon Galea (right) and David Agius (left) Photo by Ray Attard
Robert Cutajar about draft bill on obesity • Video Ray Attard

It is too premature to speak about the potential future taxation of soft drinks, shadow sports minister Robert Cutajar said.

"The Opposition is proposing, in its draft bill on obesity, to ban the sale of soft drinks from all schools and to ensure that all schools ofer children free access to water," Cutajar said, ahead of the bill’s second reading in parliament tonight. "However, it is too premature to speak about soft drinks at this stage.” 

The MP was speaking right before a meeting with Gordon Galea, a Maltese director at the World Health Organisation.

"Some European countries, including France, have introduced a tax on soft drinks," Galea said. "A lot of evidence links sugar with obesity and Maltese children drink far too many soft drinks. A future tax on soft drinks must be seriously considered.

Galea added that, should the Opposition's Bill pass, it will be one of the first of its kind in Europe,.

Cutajar also announced that the PN will host a national conference on obesity midway through next year.

"Malta constantly figures as having one of the most obese populations in the world and the country currently spend around €20 million a year on obesity-related health problems," he said. 

Amongst other things, this Bill proposes to render all school sports-related activities obligatory to all students, to offer child health courses to mothers-to-be and to establish a list of food items that will able to be sold at school canteens, day centers and old people's homes.

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