This week Revenue has decided to postpone VAT changes regarding food supplements pending outcome of a policy review.
The decision follows confirmation from the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD that a review of the VAT treatment of food supplements will be carried out.
The policy review will include consultation with stakeholders including the health store sector, relevant policymakers such as the Minister for Health as well as members of the public.
Minister Donohoe’s decision respects the independence of Revenue in terms of the application and operation of tax measures including VAT. However, the policy review is a sensible approach as the area of food supplements has changed in recent years with a wider range of products.
The consultation process is also important as it will provide an opportunity for the voices of consumers, business-owners, medical experts and public representatives to contribute and shape future policy. We have to acknowledge the lack of agreement on the benefit of food supplements and vitamins and the differences that exist between products such as folic acid and vitamin D and other products.
I know the decisions by both Revenue and by Minister Donohoe will be welcomed by people in Galway, including consumers and local businesses, who have contacted me on this issue and I urge people to take part in the policy review.