Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was told by officials in his department that the introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks could drive soft drinks multinationals out of the State, RTE News has reported.
The warning given to the Minister before the Budget in October is contained in documents that were released to RTE under the Freedom of Information Act.
The documents also show that show that the Revenue Commission advised the government against introducing a ‘sugar tax’, saying that retailers would try to avoid it by buying drinks in Northern Ireland.
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Before October’s Budget, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar had urged Minister Noonan to bring in a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened drinks to help tackle obesity, however it was never introduced.
RTE says that these documents show that the Department of Finance was actively considering the proposal and had done significant research on its implications.
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