VAT and health supplements

 

Sir, – When is a Government consultation process not a consultation process? Answer: when it is organised by the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance.

In February 2019, the Minister for Finance announced a public consultation on the policy and legislative options in relation to VAT on food supplement products.

What followed and what was published last week by the Department of Finance appears to have been a cynical exercise in pretending to consult but in fact ignoring the vast majority of the submissions made which supported the continuation of zero VAT rating for food supplements.

It appears that the Revenue Commissioners and the civil servants in the Department have decided that for their administrative ease and comfort, they want hundreds of thousands of Irish people to pay 23 per cent more when they purchase food supplements.

The health benefits of food supplements are well established.

They include elderly people taking glucosamine sulphate or anti-inflammatory foodstuffs to help maintain joint health and mobility, alongside children taking fish oils to ensure their healthy growth and development.

Fortunately, the final decision will rest with our elected representatives in Leinster House, and let’s hope common sense and the public interest will prevail when Budget 2020 comes. – Yours, etc,

PHIL COSTIGAN,

General

Secretary,

Irish Health

Trade Association,

Ennis,

Co Clare.