Government prepares “smarter” sugar tax revamp


Taxes on fizzy drinks in Portugal are to be overhauled to penalize those that are the most unhealthy, and the Government is also considering taxing food with high levels of salt or saturated fat.

Health Minister Adalberto Campos Fernandes said he was working with the Ministry of Finance and Industry to introduce a new “smarter” tax on sugary drinks.

“I believe we have the right conditions so that the next State Budget can take an innovative step”, he said, offering assurances that the “objective is to protect public health, but always respecting fiscal reasonability”.

Fernandes explained that the idea is to redesign the taxation process so that it is “more conducive to healthier consumer behaviour”. Asked if the idea is to make what is unhealthy more expensive, the minister confirmed that “that can be the only way”.