The Irish Beverage Council have criticised Fianna Fáil’s call for a sugar tax on soft drinks to tackle Ireland’s obesity problem.
Director Declan Jackson stated; “The Irish Beverage Council is fully committed to playing its part in helping to tackle obesity and other relevant public health issues. However, the obesity issue will not be resolved by taxation or other forms of discriminatory legislation aimed at individual food categories.”
He went on to say that that there is significant evidence to suggest that discriminatory taxes are ineffective in tackling complex diet and lifestyle-related problems.
The Irish Beverage Council also cited data from the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance that shows no correlation between soft drinks consumption and standard measures of obesity.
Jackson also argued that any such tax could be damaging to business in Ireland, saying, “In comparison with our European neighbours, Ireland already has high VAT on beverages at 23%. An additional tax on sugar or soft drinks would be akin to a double tax and cause unwelcome uncertainty throughout the food chain.
“For instance, given the proximity of the border with Northern Ireland, consumers would be encouraged to avoid the tax by doing their weekly grocery shopping in the border towns.”
He added that; “The experience in Denmark, where a fat tax had to be scrapped less that ten months after it was introduced, illustrates the potential pitfalls of such a discriminatory extra tax.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.