Fianna Fáil Dublin Spokesperson, John Lahart TD has said that the decision to halt the introduction of the proposed 23% VAT hike on food supplements will come as a relief to very many people across Dublin particularly those who take vitamins, probiotics or fish oils on a daily basis.

The dramatic increase from zero to 23% on supplements which was due to come into effect this week has now been deferred by the Revenue Commissioners until after Budget 2020.

He said, “To have imposed such a substantial tax on pharmacy and health food store owners as well as consumers without properly reviewing and considering it’s knock-on effects would have been severely short-sighted.

“There has been quite a public reaction to the proposal and included a petition with some 75,000 signatures from across the country. Undoubtedly it made people feel as though every facet of their lives was coming under taxation and at the same time business owners were beginning to worry. The proposal caused a major stir and to most it signalled a step too far.

“The fact of the matter is that the majority of people who take a food supplement(s) don’t necessarily choose to but are strongly advised to by medical professionals in order to lead healthier lives. Now is an opportunity to promote and emphasise the importance of making sure we consume the right nutrients to feel energised as much as possible.

“Fianna Fáil worked hard to achieve this outcome in the interest of fairness for the people who would be impacted. I can’t fault the Revenue Commissioners for eventually recognising the potential for negative impact and for halting the hike for the time being. Let wait to see what recommendation is reached by the Tax Strategy Group in the coming months and properly engage in public consultation from there,” he concluded.