The tax will increase the price of a 200 gram bag of candy by 15 cents and a litre of ice cream by 45 cents. A half-litre soda bottle will now be some four cents more expensive.
The tax is expected to shore up funds for the state in the current tough economic climate.
The government has argued that the tax will boost public health and bring long-term cost savings in dental and other health care by discouraging excessive consumption of sweets. However, the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation (ETL) has said the purpose is to generate revenue for the state. The ETL points out that the tax hike also applies to xylitol gum, which has been shown to have health benefits, but not potato chips or shortbread.
Finland had a similar tax in force between 1926 and 1999. It was, however, rescinded in 2000.