Tuesday, 26th February 2019
Press statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
The increase in the VAT rate, to 23%, for certain food supplements will not proceed in March and will be subject to a review.
That’s according to local Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton, who said that the decision was very much welcome.
The change in policy from the Revenue Commissioner comes after the Minister for Finance wrote to the Chairman of the Commissioners, Niall Cody, informing him that he had decided to have the matter examined by the Tax Strategy Group.
No decision will take place until the review group reports later this year. The Minister also indicated that he would be conducting a public consultation on the issue.
“This is a positive outcome. I have been contacted by many individuals and small businesses for which this proposed increase would have been difficult to manage. For the past 40 years many supplements have been sold at the 0% rate. These include Lutein which is a supplement but regularly proscribed by doctors in order to slow the onset of Macular Degeneration, an eye condition that can cause blindness”, said Deputy Naughton.
“Additionally, it is my view that it is the Oireachtas who should be setting tax policy, rather than the Revenue Commissioners and I am glad to see that my colleague, the Minister for Finance, has listened to my concerns,” she added.
“Vitamin C, Omega 3, Probiotics and Glucosamine have all been 0% rated up until now. Given the benefits they can have, particularly for the elderly and ill, I could see of no logical reason why the VAT rate would be increased in this way, said Deputy Naughton.
The Galway West TD said that there are hundreds of health food shops throughout the country, including Galway, employing approximately 1,800 people, which would not have been able to sustain such a VAT increase.
“I am very pleased that the Minister for Finance has listened to the concerns that I raised with him. I would urge all business owners and those potentially affected by such an increase to engage with the consultation process once it commences. In that way we can have the fullest information possible in relation to the impact a 23% VAT rate would have,” commented Deputy Naughton.