Government asked to defer 'stealth tax' on food supplements

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

The government have been called on to defer a huge “stealth tax” on food supplements over concerns the Revenue move will adversely hit consumers.

Labour made the call this morning as protestors also gathered outside Leinster House with placards calling for the tax to be scrapped.

Over 60,000 people have also signed a petition to stop the VAT being slapped on vitamins, and mineral supplements on March 1.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin called the move, which will come into effect next Friday, a "stealth tax”.

Some consumers, patients and ordinary people would not be able to continue with their health routines, he said, and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe should reverse the proposal.

He also questioned how the change was being implemented without Dail approval by Revenue.

“This is very scandalous and needs to be addressed,” Mr Howlin said this morning.

Health Stores Ireland, the association for health food stores as well as the Irish Pharmacy Union have all come out against the VAT increase.

It is understood that Fine Gael TDs are also opposed to measure and have questions about the harsh tax hike on food supplements.

And while there are some exceptions to the new pricing regime, parties reject claims some of the products facing the extra 23% VAT charge are so-called 'snake oil' products.



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