Lack of sugary drink tax slammed

The Irish Heart Foundation said it was disappointed at the Government’s failure to impose extra taxation in the Budget to reduce consumption of sugary drinks.

"After years of hand-wringing, the State has still taken little practical action that will impact on rates of obesity and overweight that affect one in four three-year-olds; one in four primary school children; and one in five teenagers in Ireland," the heart charity said.

The Foundation also criticised the Government for failing to increase substantially the excise duty on cigarettes.

The Irish Cancer Society also expressed disappointment that only 10 cents was added to the price of a pack of cigarettes.

It said the increase announced in the Budget was not not the sharp spike in price that was proven to discourage people from smoking.

The Cancer Society had called for a 60 cent increase in the price of tobacco in its joint pre-budget submission with the Irish Heart Foundation.

Alcohol Action Ireland welcomed the decision by the Government to increase excise duty on alcohol but warned that tax alone could not effectively target the very cheapest alcohol products being sold in supermarkets and off-licences.

It called for minimum pricing to be introduced for alcohol.

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