Thursday 29 September 2016

Varadkar in favour of new sugar tax in October's Budget

Published 03/08/2016 | 12:30

Leo Varadkar believes the measures should be included in October’s Budget.
Leo Varadkar believes the measures should be included in October’s Budget.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has said he is in favour of introducing a so-called ‘sugar tax’ in the Budget.

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A ten cent levy on a can of fizzy drink would yield the exchequer €100m, according to pre-budget documents published by the Department of Finance.

While Mr Varadkar said he believes the measures should be included in October’s Budget, he warned that a sugar tax is not the complete solution to tackling obesity.

“Yeah. I think a sugar tax is a good idea. I don’t think it's the solution to obesity. A lot of different measures are going to be required to get on top of obesity,” he said.

The Dublin West TD also acknowledged Independent.ie reports that the drinks industry is considering legal action to stave off such a tax.

“I suppose when you introduce any change, any new tax, or any change to the law, there’s always the risk it could be challenged legally by those who don’t agree with it,” Mr Varadkar said.

Mr Varadkar made the remarks at the launch of the 23rd edition of the ‘Working for You’ handbook by the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU).

At the event in Dublin City on Wednesday, INOU chairperson Ann Fergus called on Mr Varadkar to fully restore the Christmas Bonus in the budget.

The minister told reporters the issue will be considered during discussions with Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe.

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