News & Media

VAT on food supplements is wrong

19 November 2019

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Speaking in advance of the final debate on the Finance Act, the leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD, said that the Government’s decision to raise VAT on food supplements showed disregard for small family-run businesses that are among the few remaining shops in small towns and villages across the country.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Minister Paschal Donohoe has hidden behind the Revenue Commissioners to avoid taking responsibility for the decision to raise VAT on food supplements in this Finance Act.

“Revenue does not make policy, Government does.

“The health food industry is obviously disappointed by the Government’s decision, but they are also worried about the Minister’s repeated statements that food supplements are not food.

“In fact, food supplements are recognised as food under Irish and EU law, under the EU Food Supplement Directive 2202/46/EC as enacted in Ireland under Statutory Instrument 506 of 2007. The health food industry is required to adhere to all food regulations to ensure quality and consumer safety.

“The Government has repeatedly said that food supplements are not food. This is misinformation that flies in the face of the written law of the land. It is time for this Government to take full responsibility for the fact that they simply decided to raise tax on food supplements.”