Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway Eugene Murphy has welcomed the decision to halt the 23% VAT increase on health food supplements saying it is good that the Government have finally seen sense.

Deputy Murphy said “It is welcome that increases have been rolled back for now and this offers a slight reprieve to businesses in my constituency.

“From the outset I found it hard to understand why the tax hike was announced in advance of the publication of the Tax Strategy review. The majority of people take these food supplements in a bid to live healthier lives, and any increase in the cost of them could see people forced to give them up. People should not be punished for trying to lead healthier lives.

“At a time when the cost of living is already high, a 23% tax increase on food supplements could push them out of reach for many families and force businesses to cut down on staff members or else close entirely.

“The Government should await the tax strategy review, examine their proposals and realise that a 23% increase is simply unacceptable to many people. It’s worth keeping in mind that the tax on a fast food burger is 13.5% – to tax health food supplements at a higher rate is ridiculous”, concluded Deputy Murphy.