Sugar tax to come into effect in 2018; cigarettes up 50c

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced a tax on sugar sweetened drink to come into effect in April 2018.

This is in line with a similar plan in the UK, Mister Noonan said he thought it was “prudent” to align the two.

He added much analysis needs to be undertaken between now and then; therefore, a public consultation is starting now.

The Irish Dental Association hopes all proceeds from the sugar tax will go to oral healthcare programmes.

The IDA have said they will be making a detailed submission as part of the consultation process announced by Minister Noonan in advance of the introduction of the 'Sugar tax'.

The association is also looking at research into the effect the tax is likely to have on the country.

Meanwhile, cigarettes are getting a 50c hike in excise duty, bringing the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes to €11.

The hike in the excise duty on cigarettes is only tax increase in today’s budget.

The only vote to take place on the Budget tonight will be to add 50 cent to the price of 20 cigarettes.

Last year junior minister Finian McGrath said smokers were "a soft target" and were being "hammered" by a similar increase.

This year he admits he will have to swallow his pride: “I do have concerns and I have pointed them out before, about the whole issue of it could have a negative impact and the retail sector are telling me that the sale of illegal cigarettes are going up every day, but on the increase in the Budget, I will take the hit and hope the few bob goes into the services.”

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