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Louise O’Reilly TD calls on Minister to Halt Planned Introduction of VAT on Food Supplements

14 February, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has urged the Government to delay its plans to levy a 23 per cent VAT rate on food supplements, saying that the measure should not go ahead until there is permanent clarity on the issue including in relation to what shape future rules on food supplements will take.

The Fingal TD’s comments come amid growing opposition from both consumers and industry to the introduction of a 23pc VAT rate being applied to all food supplements, including vitamins, minerals, fish oils, and probiotics, from the 1st of March 2019.

Calling on the Minister to halt the decision, Deputy O’Reilly said:

“There are genuine concerns from consumers, retailers and manufactures that this introduction of a 23 per cent VAT rate on all food supplement products planned for March 1st will have a significant impact on not just those employed in the sector, but will also place a substantial financial burden on customers.

“When Sinn Féin raised this issue during the Finance Bill the Minister agreed to examine it in the context of the Tax Strategy Papers later this year.

“We know too that the Revenue Commissioners are sitting on an expert report one the issue.

“Yet, we have the increase going ahead in March - this is not joined up thinking.

“We have one part of the State looking at the issue later in the year and another part refusing to say what its own report tells us and yet this major change will affect many thousands of users of supplements and workers in that industry is being ploughed away with it.

“The Minister is pushing ahead with this decision despite the fact that we have not been given any clarity on what shape future rules will take in this area, nor has the Revenue Commissioners expert report yet been published.

“I and my party are therefore calling for the introduction of this 23 per cent VAT rate to be deferred until we have full clarity on future VAT treatment in this area and until we fully understand the full impact of these changes.”

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