Another sugar tax?

 

Sir, – You report on research that suggests that the imposition on a 20 per cent tax on sugar rich foods would result in weight loss (“Obesity study urges tax on snacks”, News, September 5th). We cannot allow another sugar tax debacle.

In your report you stated that since Ireland introduced the soft drinks sugar tax, “revenues have not met expectations”, pulling in €16.5 instead of the projected €30 million.

The sugar tax was a disastrous mistake. Since its imposition, instead of creating new reduced-sugar products to market alongside the full-sugar versions, drinks companies bent over backwards to “reformulate” their existing products by adding artificial sweeteners to lower their sugar content. This has rendered the vast majority of soft drinks undrinkable, with a bitter aftertaste.

There remain only three soft drinks products on the Irish market that retain their pre-tax formulations, and I am quite happy to pay more for them.

To add insult to injury, not a single cent of this tax was ever ringfenced for addressing obesity-related issues.

The statement that “revenue has not met expectations” is revealing.

The sugar tax was never about healthy lifestyles.It was and still is an opaque government revenue-raising exercise that has not saved a single person from obesity, and worst of all has removed choice from Irish consumers. – Yours, etc,

DAVID POWER,

Lucan,

Co Dublin.