Fine Gael must halt the Vitamin Tax hike.
Labour General Election candidate, Alan Mangan has called on Fine Gael to halt the 23% VAT increase on food supplements they are introducing from the 1st March that was sneaked in without any debate in the Dáil.
Mr. Mangan and the Labour Party is calling for this now to be freezed as it is a tax on the elderly, those with disabilities and those who are ill. It also poses an extra burden on small business who are already preparing for the potentially major impact which Brexit will have on our economy.
Mr. Mangan said:
“The Vitamin Tax that Fine Gael are standing over will cause steep price rises for those who rely on vitamin, mineral and food supplements.
“There was no debate during the Budget and the Finance Bill about this, but Fine Gael appears to have sneaked in a 23% rise in the price of food supplements that will come into effect on 1st March. A 0% tax rate has applied to vitamins, minerals and fish oil supplements since 1972 so this is a major change.
“The Minister for Finance is meant to be the policy maker but he appears to be blaming Revenue for this, and washing his hands of responsibility while those who can least afford it will be made to pay higher prices. Meanwhile, fast food will be taxed at 13.5% while food supplements will be at 23%.
“The Labour Party has led on this issue in the Dáil and locally. Our party leader Brendan Howlin was the first TD to raise this issue with the Minister in February of this year.
“Those who will pay most are the elderly, those with disabilities and those who are ill. This will also have an adverse effect on women who are advised by their doctors to take Folic Acid for their reproductive health before and during pregnancy. It is simply unacceptable to do this to people who are trying to improve their health.
“This sneaky tax hike, just as Brexit is about to happen will also have a huge impact on small health food and independent retailers in our area of which there are a number across Longford and Westmeath.
“The Revenue has re-interpreted the treatment of food supplements including vitamins, minerals and fish oils for VAT purposes. Those in the sector are very concerned about the impact this will have on their businesses and their customers.