Tuesday 12 December 2017

'I don’t want boot-loads of soft drinks coming down from Northern Ireland' - Noonan explains sugar tax delay

Michael Noonan speaking at announcement of Budget 2017
Michael Noonan speaking at announcement of Budget 2017

Cian Murray

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has revealed why he will be delaying the introduction of the new 'sugar tax.'

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One, he said that although he did intend to introduce the tax earlier, cross-border trade and UK legislation led to a delay.

He said: "I intended about a year ago to do it this year, but then I was looking at what they are doing in the UK and they are introducing it on January 1, 2018. On soft drinks, the supply lines are very connected between the UK and Ireland and  [they are] very connected into Northern Ireland.

"The final straw, was once Brexit came. I want to allign the two taxes. I don't want to distort the market, with weak sterling now [being a factor]. I don't want boot-loads of soft drinks coming down from Newry."

Minister Noonan also said that the Irish sugar tax will be similar to the UK one and he will be taking advice regarding the taxation model up until January.


He also discussed the new Help-to-Buy scheme on the Drivetime show, which was announced as part of Budget 2017

The rebate will be back-dated until July 19, 2016 and will provide first-time buyers with a rebate of 5pc on the purchase price of a new home.

He said: “Under the rules as they exist now, even people eligible for mortgages find it very difficult to put the deposit together. This is a measure designed to allow potential purchasers of first time homes to put their mortgages together.”

“In the normal laws of economics, demand increases and supply moves to satisfy that demand. That’s what will happen here. The builders will move to supply starter homes now that there are purchasers with money.”

When asked whether he will deliver more budgets, he told Mary Wilson: “Well sure, ‘events, dear girl’, as MacMillan said!”

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