Irish Beverage Council Calls On Government To Defer Soft Drink Tax
The Irish Beverage Council has called on Ireland's government to defer the proposed tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, according to its pre-Budget submission, All cost - No benefit.
The Ibec group that represents soft drinks companies said that the combination of cross border shopping, uncertain trade post-Brexit, and the increasing cost of the weekly shop through new consumer taxes, all threaten to facilitate a 'perfect storm'.
"With the euro in our pockets now buying more against the Sterling, Irish shoppers are increasingly heading North," said Colm Jordan, director of the Irish Beverage Council. "The Minister for Finance must defer his plan for higher taxes on our weekly shop."
The Irish Beverage Council are forecasting that 11% of sugar-sweetened drink sales will be lost to cross-border shopping and the unofficial 'grey market', which would amount to a €30 million loss to Ireland's economy in a full operating year of the sugar tax..
“In the past 34 months the Department of Finance has changed how much they predict the tax will raise on five separate occasions," added Jordan. "The prediction fell 53% between April and July alone. This shows there is uncertainty about how the tax will work."
He also highlighted that soft drinks companies have been reducing sugar content for 30 years and that 10 billion calories has been taken out out of the Irish diet each year between 2005 and 2012, through voluntary sugar reduction.
“We accept the government's sincerity in addressing the complex societal issue of obesity, and we are fully committed to playing our part," he added.
"We will go further and continue this investment in innovation, reducing sugar content while increasing our no sugar and low sugar offerings."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.