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01 Oct 2022

Offaly people asked to support campaign to end VAT on print and digital newspapers

VAT twitter

The Government is being called on to remove VAT on print and digital newspapers in Budget 2023

OFFALY people are being asked to protect the future of independent journalism in Ireland by supporting the campaign to remove VAT on print and digital newspapers in Budget 2023.

VAT on newspapers, including the Tullamore Tribune, Midland Tribune and Offaly Express, is a tax on information, learning and democracy - Ireland is one of the few countries worldwide that imposes a high tax on print and digital newspapers.

Because of a recent change to the EU VAT Directive the Irish Government can choose to support independent journalism by cutting VAT to zero on print and digital newspapers.

News publishers need to invest in digital transition and ending VAT would help support their transformation to competitive online models.

The growing power of the big tech platforms is disrupting journalism worldwide while new digital advertising models are placing enormous pressure on local and national media.

Meanwhile the growth of disinformation online means trusted, professional sources of news are more vital than ever and key to democracy itself

Local newspapers are vital to their communities and provide factual sources to inform views and policy decisions.

Quality, professional journalism is essential for a healthy democracy and supports the wider news eco-system for broadcasters and digital publishers - without newspapers and their digital content, many important stories would not be told.

Irish people love news - a massive 82 per cent of the population read a print or digital news title every week (Source: Kantar TGI 2022)

Journalism faces challenges from the cost of living crisis, the growing commercial power of tech platforms, the legacy of the pandemic which hit advertising and circulation and the soaring costs of newsprint, which has increased 140 per cent over the last 18 months.

Introducing an Zero VAT rate for newspapers would allow news publishers to secure their future by investing in the business of journalism, giving greater value to readers and preserving jobs.

The campaign for the introduction of Zero VAT is being supported by Local Ireland of which the Tullamore Tribune, Midland Tribune and Offaly Express are members, and by NewsBrands Ireland representing national newspaper titles.

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