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News / November 1, 2016

Sugary drinks tax in place for Ireland

by Guy Hiscott

A tax on sugary drinks in Ireland is going ahead – but not until April 2018.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan announced the plans last month in the Budget 2017 in a bid to align with a similar tax in the UK.

Minister Noonan was quoted saying: ‘The supply lines are very connected between the UK and Ireland and very connected into Northern Ireland. The final straw was once Brexit came, I said we need to align the two taxes. I don’t want boot-loads of soft drinks coming down from Newry.’

Decisions, decisions

Chris Macey of the Irish Heart Foundation, who wrote about his wish to see a sugar tax sooner rather than later, said: ‘The decision to postpone the introduction of a sugar-sweetened drinks levy until April 2018, despite it being a cornerstone measure of the new national obesity strategy, suggests there is still no genuine cross-government commitment to tackling obesity.’

The Irish Dental Association states that it will make a detailed submission in advance of the introduction of a sugar tax to Minister Noonan. It believes that any revenue generated by the tax should be used for oral healthcare programmes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged every country to consider introducing a sugary drinks tax, according to a WHO report on fiscal diet policies published this year.