Dear Mr Donohoe,
Whilst I appreciate that the government needs revenue it seems illogical that it should choose to get that revenue from those who can least afford it in many cases.
A food supplement is what it says, i.e. food, although like any other food cannot be depended upon entirely for sustenance. For many people, and very often for those who have some medical problem such as my partner, food supplements are not some frippery taken by those who can afford it because they want to ensure they are healthy regardless of cost, but an essential element in their diet where minerals etc are lacking because of a medical condition. A necessity in other words to sustain life.
Since the health service does not provide these essentials, and I am not suggesting they should, it is left to us to provide for ourselves, often at considerable cost – a cost which you now propose to make even more burdensome.
I accept that there are certain items found in health food shops that are not ‘essentials’ nor should they be considered so but a carte blanche punitive application of VAT at the full rate is not the way to do it.
You have it within your power to set a 0% rate for food supplements and I would ask you to consider doing so.