Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Kerry Cllr. Norma Moriarty has welcomed the decision by the Revenue Commissioners to defer a VAT increase on food supplements until after the Budget in October.

Cllr. Moriarty said, “This is the right decision.  The original proposal to introduce a 23% VAT increase on health food supplements on 1st March was premature and caused much stress and anxiety for people who use these products, but also for the businesses in Kerry and across the country which sell them.

“Most people take these supplements so that they can live longer, healthier lives.  It seems strange that such a high tax would be imposed on these products.  To go from 0% to 23% is a huge jump – and could make these supplements unaffordable – especially for older people or larger families.

“The move will be a huge relief for health food shop owners as well.  Many feared that the increase in cost would result in a fall-off in business.  These small, and in many cases, family run businesses, are already under pressure as a result of high rates and insurance costs.  Any reduction in sales would have a serious impact and could see job losses or even shop closures.

“I welcome the decision by Revenue to defer this move.  My colleagues in Fianna Fáil have been to the fore in highlighting this issue.  We will await the decision by the Tax Strategy Group in the summer and the outcome of the public consultation process and I look forward to engaging with people in Kerry over the coming months and making representations on their behalf”, concluded Cllr. Moriarty.