Saturday 27 December 2014

Noonan frosty on call to cut 23pc tax on ice cream

Published 27/07/2014 | 02:30

New Bride Aideen Carey from Finglas enjoys an ice cream with her daughter and flower girl Amelia Daisy (6) as they stop for photos in  National Botanic Gardens Dublin on one of the hottest days so far this year.
New Bride Aideen Carey from Finglas enjoys an ice cream with her daughter and flower girl Amelia Daisy (6) as they stop for photos in National Botanic Gardens Dublin on one of the hottest days so far this year.

A whopping 23pc of the cost of the "99" ice creams consumed in vast quantities during last week's heatwave is Value Added Tax.

Now artisan producers of dairy ices want the hefty tax cut.

They can't understand why the tax on ice cream is 23pc, while lap dancing clubs get away with a 9pc rate.

The Department of Finance is cool on the idea to cut the price of Cornettos and other favourites.

The issue was originally raised by the Fine Gael five-a-side TD Brendan Griffin, who asked the Finance Minister to consider reducing the current rate of VAT on ice-cream parlours.

In an icy response, however, Michael Noonan ruled out any change in the rate, warning that ''a reduction in the VAT rate on ice cream would lead to pressure to apply a similar reduction to the wider ­confectionery and sugary foods area which would be not only be costly to the Exchequer, but would be inadvisable from a health perspective."

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Griffin said he was struggling to see the sense in the scenario where, ''ice cream attracts a VAT rate of 23pc whilst lap-dancing clubs, for example, only pay 9pc VAT''.

The TD said Mr Noonan should note that lots of young Irish entrepreneurs are now producing new forms of healthier artisan ice-cream in a similar manner to the way the craft beer market has been revolutionised by innovative starter companies.

"I find it difficult to understand why we are not promoting a new indigenous industry with the potential of ice cream that is tailored to our strengths as a major diary producer as well as tourism," he said. "Producers have told me they want to get at least the same taxation treatment as lap-dancing clubs''.

Sunday Independent

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