A ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks was narrowly excluded from the Irish budget for 2013, although the issue remains on the table according to key support Health Minister Reilly. Gillian Hamill of Shelf-Life.ie – leading Irish retail and grocery business publication – writes on the potential consequences of adopting such discriminatory measures.
Ms. Hamill highlights Finance Minister Noonan’s reasoning for rejecting the tax – that soft drinks already carry 23% VAT, whilst neither water nor milk are subject to VAT; and the fact that the tax, which would have added 20c to a bottle of soft drink, would have been likely absorbed by retailers.
On the link between soft drinks and obesity: “The wisdom of singling out soft drinks in the fight against the country’s rising obesity levels has also been questioned.” It is internationally accepted that the causes obesity and nutrition-related NCDs are multi-faceted.
Overall, the article advocated for ‘learning the lessons’ of the Danish u-turn on its ‘fat tax’ and using this period – whilst there is no immediate threat on the horizon – to use existing research to develop science-based obesity-management policies that will actually work.
To read the article in full, follow this link.