Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins has welcomed the decision by Revenue to defer a tax increase on food supplements until after the Budget.

Deputy Collins said, “I welcome Revenue’s decision to defer this proposed VAT increase on food supplements.  The proposal caused widespread anxiety among individuals, particularly older people, families and health food stores themselves.

“The original proposal to introduce a 23% hike on the 1st March made no sense as we are still waiting on a recommendation from the Tax Strategy Group, which is not due until the summertime.  Any move to bring in a tax increase before then would have been premature.

“Such a large hike – from 0% to 23% – would have a huge impact on people buying these supplements – and in many cases it could make them unaffordable.  These are people trying to live healthier lives and taking measures to improve the quality of their lives – it seems counterintuitive to place such a high tax on them.

“The threat to local business is also very real.  If people can no longer afford to buy these products in their local store, the shops themselves will see a drop off in trade.  In an already difficult trading environment, this tax hike could result in job losses.

“I welcome the decision by Revenue to defer any tax increase until after the Budget.  Fianna Fáil worked hard to achieve this outcome in the interest of fairness for the people who would be impacted.

“It is only right that this matter be properly considered and that a public consultation would take place”, concluded Deputy Collins.