Cowen calls for 23% food supplement VAT hike to be halted

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@offalyexpress.ie

Cowen calls for 23% VAT hike to be halted

Barry Cowen

Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has called on the Taoiseach to give a guarantee that the proposed VAT hike on food supplements will not proceed on March 1.

Deputy Cowen was speaking in the Dáil and said, “it is plainly obvious to all parties and none, that the increase in VAT on food supplements was not contained within the Finance Bill."

“Speaking during report stage of the Finance Bill, Minister of State D’Arcy stated that the tax strategy group would be examining proposals on food supplements."

"That group is not due to publish their report until the summertime yet the announcement of an increase of 23% on food supplements was made by Revenue late last year. At no stage did the Minister or the Government indicate that the Revenue Commissioners were planning to publish revised guidelines in advance of the Tax Strategy Group examining the issue," he added.

“The majority of people take food supplements in a bid to live healthier lives. Their popularity can be seen in the number of health food shops around the country; they are in Birr and Tullamore and many other towns around Ireland."

"These shops are now facing a very real danger of having to close their doors. At a time when the cost of living is already high, a 23% tax increase on food supplements could push them out of reach for many families," Barry said.

“I think Revenue were premature in announcing the tax hike and I believe that the Minister must halt the 23% increase, and allow the Tax Strategy Group to complete and publish their review,” concluded Deputy Cowen.