The only thing taxes on common grocery items impacts is people’s wallets, according to a new report from the Irish Beverage Council (IBC). The report examining these taxes concludes they are "all cost, no benefit."
"A sugar tax may be populist, but it is simply not supported by evidence. International experience proves beyond any doubt that sugar tax is singularly ineffective," IBC Director, Kevin McPartlan told Business World.
He’s right. In Denmark, a tax on saturated fat failed and the government scrapped the tax only a year later. In 2014, the European Commission determined that taxes on targeted nutrients such as sugar and sodium had no discernible effect on public health.
While they have no effect on health, taxes on common grocery items like beverages are harmful to small businesses and have the greatest impact on those who can least afford them.
Instead of trying to make taxes their public health silver bullet, lawmakers should focus on meaningful solutions. McPartlan also agrees – "Industry has a crucial role to play in tackling the serious obesity problem in Ireland. However, it is vital that the focus is on interventions that make a genuine and sustained positive impact."
To learn more about why taxes don’t make people healthier, visit YourCartYourChoice.com.