VAT on food supplements will have 'catastrophic' impact on businesses
There could be job losses and store closures unless the current 0pc VAT rate on food supplements is maintained.
This is according to Isme, the independent representative association for small and medium enterprises.
A VAT of 23pc will be applied to all food supplements, including vitamins, minerals, fish oils, and probiotics, from the 1st of March 2019.
Isme said that many of these products are consumed under medical advice or supervision.
The lobby group added that imposing such a rate on health food stores contradicted the 'Healthy Ireland' initiative and would have a detrimental effect on many SMEs.
"As there has never been VAT on these products, the impact on business will be catastrophic," Isme CEO Neil McDonnell, said.
"Retail prices will unnecessarily rise, and small businesses will struggle to absorb or pass on the costs. The Minister needs to defer the decision until an impact study (which he called for in November) is completed or to legislate for a 0pc rate of VAT."