Poll: Do you support the sugar tax?

It’s expected the measure will bring in far less money than the government first thought.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

THE SUGAR TAX is finally expected to be announced in the upcoming budget – but it looks like the measure could raise far less money than the government first predicted.

Back in 2014, a Department of Finance tax paper estimated that a 10 cent tax on a 330ml soft drink would rake in about €134 million for the public purse every year.

In April of this year, that figure dropped to €84 million. Now it has slipped again to just €40 million, according to a report by the Sunday Business Post.

The Department of Finance suggested that the 70% slash to the original figure was due to the number of sweet drinks manufacturers that have already reduced the amount of sugar in their products in anticipation of the new tax.

The purpose of the tax – which will be used to fund public health projects – is to reduce rates of childhood and adult obesity by discouraging the consumption of sugary drinks.

However, as previously explained by Fora, there is not much data to prove whether or not a drop-off in sales of sugar-sweetened drinks will actually improve the average person’s body mass index, an indicator of whether someone is overweight or not.

With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Do you support the sugar tax?