The Government has announced its budget package for 2017, with details set out by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe in the Dáil.
The budget will introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, which Mr Noonan says will be introduced in April 2018 to coincide with similar measures in the UK.
It also sees an increase in the price of cigarettes, with 50 cent extra to be added to the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes.
The amount of excise paid on fuel and alcohol is to be unchanged in 2017.
John Player reacted to the news of the excise increase on tobacco negatively, saying: ‘Ireland’s thriving black market is well placed to meet the demand that will now be created by today’s 50c excise increase.’
Other industry groups have expressed muted disappointment with elements of the budget, with the Irish Beverage Council voicing extreme dissatisfaction with the pending sugar tax and the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland acknowledging the ‘current economic reality’ behind the decision not to reduce the excise on alcohol.
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