According to reports in regional dailies, the merchants believe that the sweet tax has opened up the field to a growing number of shady trading practices and resulting legal battles.
They claim that some confectioners are developing new products which are essentially sweets, but which they are re-classifying as other food items - in some cases as biscuits - in order to avoid the tax.
Confectioners, retailers and even dentists are bitter about the situation, and have even formed a lobby group to press for legislative changes in the next government term.
”Different levels of Value Added Tax would work better that this excise tax, and would be a better way of helping form healthy eating habits,” said Osmo Laine, head of the Finnish Grocery Trade Association.
Laine has called for a lighter Value Added Tax on healthy foods. There is also growing support for a proposal by the Finnish Dental Association for consumption tax to be applied to foods on the basis of the amount of added sugar they contain.
State revenues from the sweet tax have been lower than expected since the the levy was introduced this year.
In spite of this, the tax has not done away with the public's sweet tooth as confectionary sales have not declined. Government expects to earn 135 million euros from the tax in the next few years, with income from sweets and ice cream projected at 4.6 million euros per month this year, and 6.3 million euros per month subsequently.