Taoiseach hints tobacco and fizzy drinks to be slapped with Budget tax measures
LEO Varadkar has hinted tax hikes in the upcoming Budget will spell bad news for smokers and fans of fizzy drinks.
The Taoiseach revealed the two revenue-raising measures we are most likely to see next month are with tobacco and the sugar levy. He said: “I can’t go into specifics today but it would be typical enough, for example, for there to be an increase in cigarettes – that is one of the things under consideration. “Also, I’m a long-time supporter of the sugar tax and I’d like to see that introduced next year.” The Taoiseach acknowledged Fianna Fail would have to be consulted about any budget proposals but he denied they had an actual veto. Speaking at the Fine Gael parliamentary party think-in at the Hotel Minella in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, he added: “We have a confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fail which sets out the broad budget parameters. In framing the budget, Minister [Paschal] Donohoe is very aware of them and that’s the basis of the agreement we have. “So any budget we produce will have to be in line with that agreement and also the Programme for Government which has been agreed with the independents. “There will of course be conversations with Fianna Fail and Minister Donohoe will lead them over the next number of weeks because any financial resolution will require either their support or abstention. “Technically they don’t have a veto because if Sinn Fein were to vote for something we would have the numbers. “But it is the realpolitik of the numbers in the Dail that Fianna Fail will have influence over the budget and there will be consultations with them on it. “It’s not a veto and ultimately a defeat of a financial resolution would result in a General Election immediately, we are all aware of that, but we will adhere to the confidence and supply agreement with them.”