The Irish Government has confirmed in its 2018 Budget, the introduction of a sugar tax on sugar sweetened beverages. The tax will come into effect in April 2018, and will be similar to that of the UK.
An information note on sugar sweetened beverages published for the Budget states “The tax will apply to non-alcoholic, water-based and juice-based drinks which have added sugar content of 5 grams per 100 millilitres and above. These products are deemed to have low or no nutritional value and no satiety and the Department of Health advocate limiting consumption to a maximum of once or twice per week. Pure fruit juices that do not contain added sugar are not subject to the tax due to nutrition value, vitamins and fibre they provide. However, if sugar is added to these drinks the entire sugar content becomes liable to the tax. Dairy products are outside the scope of the tax on the grounds that dairy offers both nutritional value, such as calcium and protein, and also provides satiation preventing excessive consumption. Where products produced by small producers are exempted from particular EU food labelling obligations the SSD Tax will not apply. The tax will become liable at the first supply in the State.”
The tax uses the same two-tier divisions as the UK levy. For sugar-sweetened beverages with a content of 5 grams of sugar or above per 100ml, a tax of 20c per litre will apply and for drink with 8 grams sugar of above the rate will be 30c per litre.