France to tax sweetened drinks


PARIS – France’s parliament has backed a tax on drinks containing added sugar or artificial sweeteners in a move that is expected to raise €280 million next year.

The tax equated to an extra 2 cents on the price of a typical 33cl can of soft drink, said Gilles Carrez, general reporter for the finance commission in the lower house of the French parliament.

Half of the tax raised will go into France’s state health insurance pot to help combat obesity, while the other half will be used to reduce costs related to agricultural workers.

French budget minister Valerie Pecresse, who had opposed a tax on drinks with added sugar, agreed to back the move once so-called “light” drinks containing artificial sweeteners were also included. – (Reuters)