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Irish Health Minister wants 20% tax on soft drinks

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Staff writer ▼ | October 8, 2015
Irish Health Minister Leo Varadkar has called for a 20% tax on soft drinks to be introduced in the upcoming budget.
Leo Varadkar
Healthy Ireland   To fight obesity
Varadkar was speaking at the launch of the Healthy Ireland survey by his Department, which showed that 60% of the Irish public are either overweight or obese.

It also found that less than a third of the population is "sufficiently active" - with the average Irish person sitting for five hours every day.

Overall, four out of five claim to be in good health, although only one in three people are getting enough exercise, and snacking is also a vice the majority of us admit to indulging in every day.

However, there are now more adults ex-smokers than smokers and most people eat fruit and vegetables each day.

Leo Varadkar said he has written to Finance Minister Michael Noonan asking for a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in an effort to tackle obesity.

"It should be a part of the suite of measures that we do. Because obesity is caused by so many different things, it's going to require a whole different set of measures to tackle it, but obviously tax policy is a matter for the Minister for Finance, I can only put forward proposals, and I have done that."