28 Aug 2012

Tax on unhealthy drinks mooted in Italy

5:40 am on 28 August 2012

Italy is considering the inclusion of a tax on drinks deemed unhealthy in an expenditure bill due to go before the cabinet this week.

Health Minister Renato Balduzzi may propose a drinks tax of 3 euro cents per bottle to raise revenues of 250 million euros.

Mr Balduzzi described it as a nudge to parents towards a more suitable diet.

"It is a nudge to mothers and fathers towards a more suitable diet," he told La Repubblica newspaper, adding that revenue raised could be used for public health costs.

A ministry official said Mr Balduzzi was gauging public reaction to the suggestion before deciding whether to include the measure in the bill.

France last year imposed a tax on soft drinks to help combat increasing obesity and the measure is expected to raise 280 million euros this year.