The Spectator

Barometer | 23 March 2016

Also in our Barometer column: ageing populations; stay-at-home towns; growing mountains

Bottling out

Does any country have experience of a sugary drinks tax?
— Denmark introduced a tax on sweetened soft drinks in the 1930s which by 2013 was being levied at a rate of €0.22 a litre and brought in €60m a year.
— However, the Danish government also estimated that it was losing €38.9m in VAT from illegal soft drink sales.
— In 2011, the government also introduced a fat tax, levied at 16 Kroner (£1.78) on food items with more than 2.3% saturated fat, and planned a more general sugar tax.
— However, the fat tax was abandoned after 15 months when surveys suggested only 7% of Danes had reduced their fat intake. The tax was, however, blamed for 1,300 lost jobs as Danish shoppers crossed to Germany or Sweden. The proposed sugar tax was abandoned and the soft drinks tax abolished, too.

Old wives’ tale

Individuals are living longer, but does that make us an ageing population?

Age in 2011 Population group
0-20 15.5m
21-24 6.7m
30-44 13.3m
45-59 11.4m
60-74 7.8m
75-89 5.9m
90+ 0.4m

Source: ONS

Age in 2011 Population 2001
0-20 16m
21-24 7.7m
30-44 12.9m
45-59 12.4m
60-74 9.3m
75-89 4.4m
90+ 0.5m

Source: ONS

Places to stay

Where in Britain has fewest passports?

% of population without passport
Blaenau Gwent 1 in 2,320
Great Yarmouth/Anglesey 1 in 101,000
East Lindsey 1 in 116,000
Gwynedd 1 in 200,000
North Norfolk, Bolsover, Moyle 1 in 320,000

Source: ONS

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Ain’t no mountain high enough

Ben Nevis was re-measured and found to be 1,345 metres (1m higher than had been thought).

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