Ireland to impose sugary drinks tax from next year


Charity organisation Irish Heart has welcomed the government’s decision to levy an additional tax on the sugar-sweetened beverages.

The Government of Ireland is set to impose sugar-sweetened beverages from 1 April next year, which was announced by the Ireland minister for finance Paschal Donohoe in his Budget 2018 speech.

As per the plan, the government will be imposing a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks with between 5g and 8g per 100ml at a rate of €0.20 per litre.

For drinks with more than 8g of sugar content, the government will have a tax rate of 30c per litre.

"The introduction of a sugar-sweetened drinks levy is probably the single most important action the government can take to tackle Ireland’s obesity crisis."

Irish Heart advocacy head Chris Macey said: “The introduction of a sugar-sweetened drinks levy is probably the single most important action the government can take to tackle Ireland’s obesity crisis.

“As a result, this is a landmark day in the fight against what is now recognised as perhaps the biggest threat to the health of the nation.

“The Minister’s announcement demonstrates a significant commitment on the part of Government to meet its duty of care to protect the health of children in particular.

“We are also encouraged by indications that the measure is already proving effective by prompting beverage companies to reduce sugar content to ensure products fall below the threshold for the tax.”

Macy also suggested that a portion of the additional taxed amount should be spent on the measures focused on children’s future health, particularly in deprived areas where obesity rates are higher.