Finnish government dismisses plan for sugar tax

Finnish government dismisses plan for sugar tax

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.

Bulgarian Finance Minister opposes food tax

In an interview available on the website of the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance, the Minister Vladislav Goranov, asked to comment on the matter, has voiced his opposition to the much debated proposal of a ‘food tax’.

The Finance Minister questioned whether it is appropriate to change consumers’ behaviour through the introduction of new taxes, adding that this very goal would fail. Moreover, he expressed his concern that such a measure could result in the smuggling of similar goods not subject to taxation from neighbouring countries.

In conclusion, Minister Goranov stated that most likely this type of tax will not be introduced.