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  3. Irish Government To Earn £100 Million From Tax On...Plastic Bags?

Irish Government To Earn £100 Million From Tax On...Plastic Bags?

by Caroline Maxwell, Tax-News.com, London

24 December 2001


The Irish Environment Minister, Bobby Molloy, has announced that the government will delay the introduction of a levy on plastic shopping bags until March, in order to avoid confusion during the introduction of the euro.

The 0.15 euro (12p) charge had been scheduled for introduction in February, but Mr Molloy has decided that Irish retailers will probably have enough on their plates following the euro-changeover, and need some time to prepare for the new tax.

Signing the regulations into law last week, he explained: 'Having considered all representations made, I have now decided to introduce the levy on March 4- to avoid any clash with the euro-changeover period, and to allow retailers to put in place any necessary changes and training to implement it.'

Although it is estimated that the new tax, when introduced, will raise an additional £100 million for the government, Mr Malloy has stressed that the point of the exercise is not stealthy revenue raising. 'The primary purpose of this levy is not to generate revenue, but to change consumer behaviour,' he stated. 'I want to see a significant reduction in the use of plastic shopping bags and a subsequent reduction in the number of bags that end up as litter.'

It is thought that at present, Irish consumers receive the equivalent of 325 free bags per person annually from retail outlets.


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