If the announced tax on sugar sweetened drinks (SSD) is followed through we will see an increase in the price of certain soft drinks and similar beverages. A tax of either 20c or 30c per litre on drinks with a sugar content beginning at over 5 grams per 100 millilitres will be introduced from April 2018.
Details of the tax read similar to the regime to be introduced in the UK, also to begin from 1 April next. The sugar tax will be at a rate of 30 cent per litre on non-alcoholic, water based and juice based drinks which have 8 grams and above of sugar per 100 millilitres. A reduced rate of 20 cent per litre will apply on such drinks with between 5 and 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.
According to the SSD information note published along with the budget documents by the Department of Finance, the tax will not apply to dairy products and pure fruit juices with a nutrition value are also out of scope. Products produced by small producers exempt from particular EU food labelling obligations will also be exempt from the SSD.
This new tax is expected to yield €30 million next year and €40 million in a full year.