Health Committee and Sugary Drinks

The Health Select Committee in the House of Commons has recommended a 20% tax on sugary drinks in an effort to encourage people, especially children, not to drink them.

This is a great example of the work of the House of Commons and a good example of what select committees do. In this instance they have done research into this topic, including looking at countries around the world who have such a tax (like Mexico) , and then publishes recommendations to the government. Their powers is perhaps limited however – the government does have to respond within 60 days but it does not have to accept recommendations – in this case the government has already said it does not favour a tax.

Select Committees are usually made up of those with some expertise in the area or at least a keen interest. In this case Dr Sarah Wollaston is the chair; an obvious link to health with her being a doctor! She was elected in June 2015 (by 532 votes to 64 of the whole House). She is also notable for being the only candidate that has been elected by primary in the UK – and this has made her a somewhat rebellious MP!