Health Minister shelves sugar tax

The Federal Government is no longer planning to bring in a sugar tax. The news appeared in Friday’s morning edition of the financial daily ‘De Tijd’ and has since been confirmed by VRT News’ sources. The Federal Health Minister Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) says that she has shelved the sugar tax to prevent a fall in people’s purchasing power.

Since the start of this year there has been extra tax in the form of excise on soft drinks. It had been the plan to extend the tax to other products that contain a lot of sugar such as breakfast cereal and chocolate spread.

However, this has now been shelved. The Health Minister says that she has decided to ditch the measure as it could serve to diminish purchasing power.

The “sugar tax” was to have raised 250 million euro in the short term that was to have been used to finance the tax shift. The failure to extend it to products other than soft drinks means that around 200 million euro of this will need to be sourced elsewhere.

Measures that should help make up the for the loss include raising the capital gains tax on dividends from 27% to 30%.