Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has refused to sanction a sugar tax in the budget, despite significant push from Health Minister James Reilly, as reported by the Irish Times.
Mr. Noonan ruled the tax out as sugar-sweetened soft drinks already attracted 23% VAT whilst neither water nor bottled milk attracted any VAT. Reilly claims the tax could raise €50million a year and linked the consumption of soft drinks to obesity and other NCDs.
You can read the full Irish Time article by following this link.
Obesity and NCDs, however, have many causes including bad diet, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyles and genetics – and require a coordinated approach. Additionally, the nature of taxing food and beverages and the unintended consequences on the broader economy from lost revenue in other areas and buying patterns means that gains made on discriminatory taxes are likely to be lost in other areas.