The Finnish government has scrapped a plan to replace the current tax on sweets with a tax on sugar, stressing that such measure would be difficult to implement and its health impact is not clear.

The idea for a sugar tax was tabled by the National Institute for Health and Wellness (THL) – a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health – to replace the existing excise duty on sweets, which has been abolished with effect as of January 2017 after the European Commission suggested it could constitute unlawful state aid.

The consequent loss of revenues has forced some government officials to look for other fiscal measures, making clear that the main reason behind a sugar tax would be economical.

However, the Ministry of Finance itself has ruled out this option. Through Merja Sandell, it stressed that a sugar tax “would be a bureaucratic burden” and difficult to put in place. Another senior official said it will not lead to the desired health effects.

 

The full article is available (in Swedish) here.