VAT: Time To Change?

The Campaign for VAT Reform have published some statistics relating to the levels of VAT charged to certain items. If we look at foods, as below, we can see an interesting problem emerging:

Fruit Juice 23% VAT
Bottled Water 23% VAT
Toilet Paper 23% VAT
Toothpaste 23% VAT
Cooking Fat/Oil 0% VAT
Fondant Icing 0% VAT
Steak and Kidney Pie 0% VAT
Potato Waffles 0% VAT

Healthy foods and essential items are charged at 23% VAT, yet seemingly random non-essential and certainly unhealthy foods (waffles, pie) are charged 0% VAT. I have written to the Minister for Finance to query the rationale behind some of these as I am of the opinion that if some unhealthy food items were increased, we could use the extra revenue to make other items in the household shopping basket cheaper. This would help families and ensure fairness and also incentivise healthy eating.

© Catherine Noone – Dublin Senator 2011. | Wordpress Webdesign by: exSite