The Irish government has announced that a sugar tax will come into effect in April 2018, which is set to raise the cost of soft drinks.
In the country's 2018 Budget, which was announced yesterday, the government outlined that drinks with over eight grams of sugar per 100ml will be taxed at €0.30 per litre.
A reduced tax rate of €0.20 per litre will be implemented from drinks with between five and eight grams of sugar per 100ml.
Ireland's minister for finance Paschal Donohoe said that these rates of tax are consistent with the rates being introduced in the UK in April next year.
Drinks company Britvic, which produces brands such Robinsons and 7Up, said that it recognises the government's decision, but is disappointed that the soft drinks sector has been 'arbitrarily singled out'.
“It is essential that the Department of Finance and Revenue engages with the industry to ensure that Republic of Ireland manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, publicans and foodservice operators are not disadvantaged versus imported product, especially in an environment of weakening Sterling," said Kevin Donnelly, managing director of Britvic Ireland.
“We look forward to constructive engagement as soon as implementation details become clearer," he added. "Given the implementation timeline is less than half that afforded to the industry in the UK, early engagement on this matter is crucial”.
A similar tax was introduced in Portugal in February of this year, and the country's ministry for health recently announced that the consumption of high-sugar drinks has dropped by 25%.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.