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Food industry rejects plan for fizzy-drink tax

THE food and drink industry has rounded on Government proposals to impose a sugar tax on fizzy drinks.

Food and Drink Industry Ireland said the move would have no health benefits and would hit hard-pressed consumers.

The industry body was responding to revelations in the Irish Independent yesterday that Health Minister Dr James Reilly is considering recommendations from a report favouring the introduction of a 10pc tax on fizzy drinks.

The report from the Institute of Public Health, which was commissioned by the minister, was considered yesterday by a group of outside experts who report to the Department of Health on measures to reduce obesity.

The Food and Drink Industry, which is part of IBEC group, said that imposing a tax would be discriminatory.

A spokesman referred to the tax on saturated fat which was introduced last year in Denmark – and has now been shelved.

Food and Drink Industry Ireland director Paul Kelly said : "It has now been reversed as authorities found it did not change consumer behaviour, but instead led to higher inflation and an increase in cross-border shopping."

Irish Independent