Thursday 29 June 2017

Sugar tax will add 10c to price of fizzy drink can

Obesity expert Prof Donal O’Shea criticised the decision to delay introduction of the sugar tax here until 2018 (Stock picture)
Obesity expert Prof Donal O’Shea criticised the decision to delay introduction of the sugar tax here until 2018 (Stock picture)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The Government's proposed sugar tax will add around 10 cents to a can of fizzy drink, a spokesman for the Department of Health confirmed yesterday.

The controversial tax - aimed at tackling rising levels of overweight and obesity, particularly among young people - is due to come into effect in 2018.

While the method of calculating the tax, confined to soft drinks, has yet to be revealed, it is expected to be in line with the system already outlined in the UK which will see it based on the amount of sugar in the product.

Under the UK proposal guidelines, manufacturers of fizzy drinks would be subject to two bands: one for total sugar content above 5g per 100ml; and a second, higher band for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml.

Fruit juices and milk-based drinks would not be included.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said this week the sugar tax in Ireland will not be introduced until it also comes into effect in the UK in 2018.

One in four children and six in 10 adults are obese or overweight.

It comes as the Department of Health is due to shortly launch its obesity strategy, a Healthy Weight for Ireland. It is aiming for a 5pc reduction in our average weight over the next decade.

There will be particular emphasis on economically deprived areas, where the target will be 10pc.

PE will be introduced as a Leaving Cert subject to increase levels of activity.

Ireland will join a small but growing number of countries which are taxing high calorie food and drink.

Norway, for example, places taxes on chocolate and sweets while Finland has a tax for sweetened drinks.

Obesity expert Prof Donal O'Shea criticised the decision to delay introduction of the sugar tax here until 2018.

Irish Independent

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