IBC urges rethink on sugary drinks tax in Budget 2018
The IBC has published its pre-budget submissions to the Government, in which it urges the minister for finance to rethink the proposed sugary drinks tax.
5 September 2017
As Budget 2018 looms, and the numerous lobby groups and representative associations make their submissions to government, the Irish Beverage Council has published its pre-Budget submissions with regard to the soft drinks industry. The subtitle on the report is ‘All Cost, No Benefit’.
Calling on the Minister for Finance to defer the proposed sugar tax, the IBC’s report highlights the combination of cross-border shopping and post-Brexit uncertainty, along with the rising cost of weekly shops for damilies. These three elements threaten to create a “perfect storm”.
Colm Jordan, IBC director pointed out that consumers are still headed north due to the weak Sterling. “The Minister must defer his plan for higher taxes on our weekly shop,” Jordan said. “We are forecasting that 11% of sugar sweetened drinks sales will be lost to cross-border shopping and the grey market. That amounts to a €30m loss to our economy in a full operating year of the sugar tax.”
Jordan also pointed out that while childhood obesity remains an issue, consumption of sugary drinks by 11-15 year olds fell by 70% between 2002 and 2014. This suggests that targeting of drinks with a new tax may be misguided, he said.