TD Slams Government For Proposed Increase In Vat On Food Supplements

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Richard Boyd Barrett calls for food supplements and vitamins to be included on medical cards

In the Dáil this afternoon, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett slammed a move by the government that plans to put VAT of 23% on food supplements on 1 March and went on to demand that these supplements, when recommended by health professionals, be included under the Medical Card scheme.

The move to include minerals and vitamins for VAT, according to the Dún Laoghaire TD, will see many elderly and vulnerable people going without these food supplements that in many cases are recommended by health care professionals.

He said: “The government must climb down from this ridiculous increase in VAT on food supplements. There are many people who have come to me saying that with this increase will mean they are not able to continue to take them.

“One person who contacted me, a cancer patient, said that the food supplements such as Viviloptal, Thiamine, Magnesium and Alflorex, that have been recommended to him by his consultant cost him €70 per month already.  He cannot afford this €70 and will certainly not be able to afford the increase to €86 that the new VAT would mean. 

Deputy Boyd Barrett went on to point out: “These food supplements and vitamins when recommended by a health professional should not be seen as an ‘optional extra’ but be recognised as essential for many people to keep their body functioning normally.  For this reason, it is absolutely clear that they should be covered by the medical card and the Minister for Health should immediately move to include them in the scheme.”