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Ireland celebrates VAT victory

Ireland’s health food retailers and their customers are celebrating victory in the fight to stop VAT being imposed on supplements.

The move, which was to have come into force today (March 1), was unexpectedly deferred as a petition signed by 75,000 people was presented to the Irish Parliament and Revenue offices.

The threat to add 23% VAT to supplements has now been put off until November to allow the Government to legislate an acceptable alternative.

But the fight isn’t over with campaigners determined to make sure the threat never materialises.

Campaign Spokesperson Matt Ronan said: “Revenue have given a window to Government to act and our campaign will now step up to ensure they do. The petition gathering and the political lobbying will continue.

“We have received cross-party support and assistance from politicians from all parties and from independents. This bodes well for a legislative solution. Our focus is now on using the momentum from our campaign and the ground-swell of public and political support to have vitamins and food supplements legislated as zero VAT food, as they have been for the last 45 years.”

Health Stores Ireland President Gerald Colfer said: “We have said all along that it was Government’s job to set tax policy and Revenue’s role to interpret this policy. Applying 23% VAT to food supplements made no sense socially, morally or fiscally”.

Health Stores Ireland will be using the grass-roots network of stores and the many political and executive connections they have made during the campaign to ensure that the Government maintains the zero VAT rate and legislates for this in the October budget.

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