Friday 23 February 2018

Taxes may not be sweet but they can effect change

IBEC group Food and Drink Industry Ireland sent a report to Michael Noonan that alleges that imposing a tax on unhealthy food and drink products would have no health benefits.

The group's arguments are not without merit; the Government already imposes VAT at 23pc on sweets, chocolate, crisps, ice-cream and soft drinks but that does not mean that further taxes would have no effect.

It argues that any further tax "would be highly regressive and hit the poorest hardest as low-income families spend a higher proportion of income on food". But it shouldn't make bald assertions that taxes don't change behaviour. Common sense suggests otherwise. After all, why else would it object?

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