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  Irish to get tax on chewing gum
Updated 15 July 2003, 20.10
Chewing gum is going to be taxed in Ireland
Buying chewing gum in Ireland is going to get more expensive soon, after the government there revealed plans to put a new tax on it.

By adding a tax of five to 10 Euro cents (four to seven pence) to the price of a pack, they hope to have more money to spend on special "gum-buster" cleaning machines.

The Irish Environment Minister Martin Cullen said people could see the problem with chewing gum by looking at "our streets, our footpaths, our pavements right across the country".

"It is costing local authorities millions every year to clean this up and I feel we have to have a polluter paid principle on this where the people who use chewing gum should pay a small tax."

The government are also putting a tax on the polystyrene containers that fast food comes in, and receipts from cash machines.

Carrier bag tax worked

They hope the tax will as big a success as one they put on plastic carrier bags last year (15 cents or nine pence), which has cut the number used by around 90%.

In the three months after it was introduced, shops handed out just over 23 million plastic bags - about 277 million fewer than normal.

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