SMOKE SIG­NAL

Taoiseach hints to­bacco and fizzy drinks to be slapped with Bud­get tax mea­sures

Irish Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY FERGHAL BLANEY Po­lit­i­cal Re­porter news@irish­mir­ror.ie

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.”

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