Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has welcomed a decision by Revenue to defer a 23% VAT hike on health supplements.

Revenue has postponed any increase until after the Budget has been agreed.

“The vast majority of people taking health supplements are doing so either on the advice of their doctor or in a bid to live longer and healthier lives.  At a time when we should be encouraging people to embrace healthier living, such a substantial VAT hike sends out a very mixed message.  It makes sense for the Revenue to defer any such decision until after the Tax Strategy Group has published its review and after the Budget has been agreed”, said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.

“Some supplements are already quite expensive.  Add another 23% to the price and it may well put it out of reach for individuals and families.  Not only will this have an impact on weekly budgets, it could have dire consequences for health stores across West Cork.  These businesses are already dealing with high rates and insurance costs, and many family run outfits would struggle to remain viable if shoppers are forced online to get their supplements at a cheaper price.

“There are also questions to be answered about the quality of the products and consumers will miss out on the personal touch and expertise that is available in store.

“The decision by the Revenue offers a temporary reprieve.  I welcome the fact that there will be a public consultation process and I look forward to engaging with my constituents and bringing forward their opinions and concerns”, concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.