Portugal’s government has announced that they will introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks in 2017. The tax is expected to raise €80m (£72m) for the public health service. The announcement came just three days after the WHO urged countries to start taxing sugary drinks, pointing to evidence that price rises can dramatically reduce consumption.
“We are committed to reduce the calorie content of soft drinks between 2013 and 2020, at least 25 percent. By the end of 2015 we have reduced 10.7 percent. This is an effective contribution to the reduction of calories in the diet of the Portuguese, but it should be noted that the consumption of soft drinks is only 2 percent of calories ingested by the Portuguese,” the Portuguese Association of Soft Drinks (PROBEB) says in an article in FoodIngredientsFirst.
The new tax does does apply to sugary drinks based on milk or fruit juice – only to soft drinks – and the tax will follow similar laws in France, Mexico, Hungary and forthcoming legislation in the UK and South Africa.
Under Portugal’s plans, drinks with more than 80 grammes of sugar per litre will be taxed at €16.46 per 100 litres. Drinks with fewer than 80 grammes will pay a tax of €8.22 per 100 litres.