Justice annuls the tax on sugary drinks in Catalonia

A judge has just canceled the tax on sugary drinks in Catalonia, as requested by several distribution associations, supermarket chains, shops and restaurants. This was decided by the second section of the administrative litigation room of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC).

The justice considers that the autonomic decree by which the tax was approved is null and void because "the administration dispensed with essential procedures of consultation, hearing and public information".

The TSJC thus estimates the appeal presented by the National Association of Large Distribution Companies (ANGED), the supermarkets' management ACES and ASEDAS, the Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB), the consumer association AECOC, Marks of Restoration and Promarca, all of them very critical with the tax on sugary drinks from the beginning.

In particular, they censor the "lack of justification and precipitation"of the measure, as well as the absence of public consultation and the violation of the limits of the tax jurisdictions of the autonomous communities, consider that the tax is unconstitutional, discriminatory and arbitrary because" it produces extraterritorial effects outside the autonomous community, thus violating the market unit. "

But the sentence is not firm, which means that the Generalitat of Catalonia has the possibility of appealing the ruling. The Government applied the controversial tax on sugary drinks in May 2017 to discourage consumption and raise revenue, a measure aimed at soft drinks or sodas, juices, sports or energy drinks, shakes or flavored waters, among others.

A few months before, the 'popular' Cristóbal Montoro (minister of finance at that time) announced that he would apply a tax on sugary drinks that never materialized, although it put on alert to companies such as Pepsi or Coca Cola. The debate arose as a result of the WHO claiming a tax of 20% to tax the sugar, similar to that existing in other countries such as France or the United Kingdom.