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Date for sugar tax pushed back three weeks from 6 April to 1 May

The date has been pushed back to ensure the tax complies with EU State aid law.

Image: Eric Piermont via AFP/Getty Images

THE MUCH-DISCUSSED sugar tax will not come into effect until 1 May, almost a month later than the 6 April date which was previously confirmed.

The new commencement date has been confirmed today by the Department of Finance.

The tax will see 30c per litre added on to sweetened drinks with over eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.

That means that many drinks including Coke, 7UP, Pepsi, Monster and Red Bull will go up by the full 30 cent per litre. A can of Coke will go up by ten cent.

In a statement today, the Department of Finance said that Ireland has engaged in “extensive and constructive” discussions with the European Commission to ensure that once commenced, the sugar tax does not infringe on EU State aid law.

“Following these constructive discussions with, and a formal notification to the European Commission, a positive decision is expected in the coming weeks to allow for the commencement of the tax,” the statement said.

In order to allow for the completion of the administrative processes in relation to the State aid approval, the sugar tax will now come into effect on 1 May and no 6 April as previously confirmed.

“The sugar-sweetened drinks tax is designed to help tackle growing levels of obesity,” the statement said.

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“This tax is one of a suite of measures being implemented as part of an overarching policy framework to address this issue. It is hoped that the introduction of a financial barrier on sugar-sweetened drinks will result in reduced consumption by incentivising individuals to opt for healthier drinks.”

In response to the upcoming tax, some drinks companies have been introducing changes to the products to reduce sugar.

Read: The new sugar tax: Has the government gone far enough?

More: Drinks companies are already getting ready for the sugar tax

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