The Irish Beverage Council (IBC) has urged the Minister for Finance not to introduce an additional charge on soft drinks that would achieve no public health benefit but will cost consumers, business and the Irish economy. The IBC yesterday published a new analysis of the impact of a possible sugar tax on the Irish economy, while also examining the international evidence, which points to no resulting health benefits.
In the report, entitled 'Sugar Tax: all cost, no benefit', the IBC points out that in the several countries that a sugar tax has been introduced in already, they have never achieved the objectives of reducing the consumption of sugar or decreasing levels of obesity and related diseases.
However, the consequences of such additional discriminatory charges have instead increased grocery bills for families, spurred cross-border trade and smuggling, increased costs on businesses and threatened jobs.
IBC Director, Kevin McPartlan said: “Industry has a crucial role to play in tackling the serious obesity problem in Ireland. However, it is vital that the focus is on interventions that make a genuine and sustained positive impact. A sugar tax may be populist, but it is simply not supported by evidence. International experience proves beyond any doubt that sugar tax is singularly ineffective.
The report finds that a 10c sugar tax on a can of soft drink would result in:
· The average Irish household’s annual grocery bill increasing by €60
· Irish soft drinks companies losing sales worth approximately €60 million per year
· The Irish exchequer losing revenue of €35 million per year
Mr McPartlan continued: “Some say a sugar tax should be introduced even if it does nothing to reduce levels of obesity as it would create revenue to fund public health initiatives. Even if we ignore the fact that Department of Finance officials have ruled out such an approach, the revenue lost to cross border trade and the potential cost of lost jobs in the Irish soft drinks sector would greatly reduce and possibly even eliminate the net gain to the exchequer."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan