Report: Sugar tax will cost a lot, help very little

Ibec has warned of the negative impact of the prosed sugar tax

Irish Beverage Council, the Ibec group that represents companies that produce, distribute and market soft drinks, has published a report on the possible impact of a proposed sugar tax, warning of the economic damage it would cause with little positive gains



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8 August 2016

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The IBC has published its analysis of the impact of a possible sugar tax on its industry. The report examines the economic damage to consumers, businesses and the overall economy, while also exploring the evidence following similar initiatives overseas. The report, titled Sugar Tax: All Cost, No Benefit claims that there would be no resulting health benefits.

The report, which was prepared for the Finance Minister ahead of Budget 2017, states that following its introduction in a number of countries in recent years, sugar taxes have never contributed to a reduction in levels of sugar consumption, not decreased levels of obesity, overweightedness or related diseases.

Regarding the financial impact, the report concludes that with a 10c tax on a can of soft drink:

  • The average Irish household’s annual grocery bill would increase by 60
  • Irish soft-drink companies’ annual sales would drop by approx. 60m
  • The Exchequer would lose revenue of 35m per year

“Industry has a role to play in tackling the serious obesity problems in Ireland today,” said IBC director Kevin McPartlan. “However, it is vital that the focus is on interventions that make a genuine and sustained positive impact.

“A sugar tax may be populist,” he said, “but it is simply not supported by evidence. International experience proves beyond any doubt that sugar tax is singularly ineffective.”



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