Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher TD has called for the revenue raised from the new sugar tax due to come into effect next month to be earmarked to tackle obesity.
Deputy Kelleher was responding to PQ replies showing the anticipated revenue from the tax to be €30m in 2018 and €40m per annum from 2019. The tax, which adds approximately 10c to a standard can of cola, is due to come into effect from April 6th.
Deputy Kelleher said, “Almost one in ten children in Ireland are obese, ten times the rate in 1975. We need decisive action to get to grips with this growing public health crisis.
“I am disappointed that Minister Donohue has refused in PQ replies to me to earmark revenue from the new sugar tax to invest in anti-obesity measures.
“We already have earmarked taxes for a specific purpose such as the Plastic Bag levy which is invested in waste management and litter reduction. On a similar basis this new sugar tax should be focused on tackling the underlying causes of the increase in obesity.
“In our election manifesto Fianna Fáil advocated investing the proceeds of the tax in a special community fund that could be invested in sports infrastructure as well as promoting physical activity.
“I am calling on the Minister to review his position and commit to investing the €40m of revenue in measures that will help Ireland to address the obesity crisis.”