The commencement date for the tax on sugar sweetened drinks has been put back from 6 April to 1 May.

The Department of Finance is engaged in discussions with the European Commission to ensure the tax does not infringe EU law on state aid.

In a statement the department said following the discussions and after a formal notification to the commission it expects a positive decision "in the coming weeks" to allow for the commencement of the tax.

Budget 2018 envisaged the start date for the tax would be next month but the department said it will now be in May. "The sugar-sweetened drinks tax is the first of its kind to be reviewed by the European Commission and will provide a benchmark for state aid decisions in this area. Key stakeholders have already been informed of this development," it said.