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Budget 2016: What the papers say

THE sugar tax on the soft drinks industry proved to be the headline grabbing measure unveiled by George Osborne in yesterday’s Budget.

Soft drinks makers will now be taxed according to the volume of the sugar-sweetened drinks they produce or import.

The Independent reported that the tax – broken into two bands: one for total sugar content above 5g per 100ml, and a higher band for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml – falls short of recent calls from the The National Obesity Forum for a 50% tax on sugar.

The Financial Times reported that Osborne said he would clamp down on multinational tax avoidance by tightening rules on deductibility of interest and carrying forward losses for large businesses. The change is expected to raise £9bn over the period to 2021.

The FT also covered the announced further reduction in corporation tax to 17% by 2020, and that the threshold for small business rate relief would more than double from £6,000 to £15,000.

According to The Guardian, the change in business rate relief would leave councils facing further cuts due to the £7bn loss of receipts from small business rates. The Treasury has told local authorities that they will be compensated for the loss of business rates.

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