Mon. Dec 16th, 2019

Pulse between the Government and the sector of sugary drinks

The Generalitat he believes he can win the war of tax on drinks
sugary to food distribution companies and manufacturers despite losing yesterday a battle in the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC). The Court annulled the regulation of the tax on sugary drinks

for the omission of legal procedures that are necessary such as "consultation, hearing and prior information". The court does not enter to examine any of the other points of the resource.

The seven business associations that make up the chain
agrifood They considered in a press release that the tax has been canceled. But the vicepresident of Economy of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, opined just the opposite and said that only the regulation has been canceled, so the tax is in force and must be paid by the manufacturing companies. The vice president explained that among the options being studied is to approve a new regulation or present a resource.


The tax aims to fight against obesity and diabetes

According to the law in which the tax was approved, the tax "complies with the recommendation of the World Health Organization (…), which urges to approve and promote tax measures that tax sugary drinks with the objective to reduce problems such as obesity and certain types of diabetics. "

On the other hand, employers believe that the regulations were causing "loss of competitiveness and legal uncertainty in companies operating in Catalonia." The rate involved raising the price of a can of 33 centiliters of a sugary drink between 2.7 and 4 cents. The current price of a sugar cola in a supermarket is about 67 cents. The Generalitat collected 22.7 million euros in 2017 as it entered into force on May 1. Last year, which was in effect for 12 months, the collection was 47.9 million, which represents less than 0.18% of all the tax revenues of the Generalitat, excluding those assigned obviously. The payment of the tax has been transferred in its entirety to the clients.

Asked yesterday Aragonès Pere on whether the Generalitat should return what entered, said he was to see. Although – he said – in the event that the collection had to be returned for the cancellation of the regulation, the Generalitat would charge it again with a new regulation because the tax is fully in force.


Employers believe that causes loss of competitiveness and legal uncertainty

The person in charge of Economy of the Generalitat had yesterday very hard words with the companies of distribution and the manufacturers: "The oligopoly of the alimentary industry that has put in the point of view this tax from the first day will not knock us down". Among the complainants are associations such as FIAB (of which Coca Cola or Pepsico are part through Anfabra); Anged (of which Carrefour or El Corte Inglés are part) or Asedas (of which Mercadona or Dia are part).

In a statement, the business associations said that "the sector points to the inefficiency of measures such as the tax on packaged sugary drinks because it is a collection measure that reduces consumption and affects the economy and employment." Pere Aragonès said yesterday that it is a tax that already exists in other European countries, and that it is a necessary fiscal measure because "there is a very important part of the population of Catalonia that suffers the effects of health due to excess sugar".

Last April, a report by UPF and the IEB claimed that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages fell by 22% in Catalonia coinciding with the entry into force of the tax. Sources of beverage manufacturers Anfabra said that there is a trend to transfer sugary drinks to the ligth. The same sources said that currently 33% of consumption is already light or sugar-free drinks.

The judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia has been made public after a study published in the British Medical Journal linked an increased risk of cancer with the usual consumption of sugary drinks or pure fruit juice.

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