Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway has welcomed the news that the VAT treatment of food supplements will remain unchanged until at least November 1, 2019.

Plans had been in place to stop allowing certain food supplement products to be zero-rated for the purposes on Friday, March 1 – which would have meant that the costs of these products would have rose by 23%.

Speaking on the issue, Fitzmaurice said: “I welcome the fact that a review on this matter will now be carried out and that the VAT treatment of food supplements will remain unchanged in the interim.

“By imposing a VAT rate of 23% on food supplements, including vitamins and minerals, you are punishing those that are making an effort to look after their own health and well-being – and could potentially make those products unaffordable for them to buy in the future.

“This move – had it not been suspended for the time being – would have unfairly hit elderly people, those with disabilities, people in receipt of social welfare payments and people who may be struggling financially.

“Let’s not forget that people often take these supplements after receiving advice from their doctors.

“As was the case in the past, people should be rewarded for taking an active approach towards maintaining their overall health – and not face increased costs for their efforts; common sense needs to prevail in this situation.

“It is disappointing that consumers of these food supplements and health shop owners were forced to protest on the issue before Revenue and the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, realised the error of their ways,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

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