Retail Excellence has said that the proposed 23% VAT increase on health supplements will have a detrimental impact on consumers, retailers and local economies across Ireland.
The group is calling on the Government to review the proposed VAT hike on vitamins, minerals, probiotics and fish oils, which is is due to come into effect on 1 March 2019.
“The shock of a massive VAT hike of 23% on these products has the potential to cause hundreds of job losses across Ireland at a time when the prospect of a crash-out Brexit and the associated negative impact that will have on the Irish economy is all the more real,” said David Fitzsimons, Group CEO of Retail Excellence.
It proposed VAT hike was was announced by the Revenue Commissioners last December.
In a statement, the Irish retail industry representative body highlighted that a 0% VAT rate on food supplements has existed for the past 40 years.
"This move will have a huge knock-on effect for retailers, pharmacies and particularly small, independent, family run stores who have been the mainstay of high streets up and down the country for decades,” Fitzsimons said.
Impact on Consumers
Such a move will have a serious impact on consumers who rely on supplements in order to maintain their health, the Irish group highlighted.
Elderly consumers rely on products such as Vitamin D, glucosamine sulphate tablets and Omega 3 fish oils for the maintenance of normal muscle and bone function, the normal function of their immune system as well as joint flexibility and this increase may be too a step too far for many.
“Minister Paschal Donohue stated recently that he is willing to engage with stakeholders on this matter and Retail Excellence looks forward to such engagement to come to a fair solution for consumers and retailers alike.” Fitzsimons concluded.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.