Is Looking After Your Health About To Become More Expensive? - StrongLife

Is Looking After Your Health About To Become More Expensive?


This week, I learned that looking after your health may become more expensive in 2019.

I actually wasn’t aware of this until one of my clients who works in a pharmacy brought it my attention.

She informed me that the government are looking at taxing nutritional supplements.

At first, I thought it might be some of the less regulated ones that don’t have much science to back them up.

But having done a bit of digging, it’s actually a lot of the common ones we use.

The Proposed Taxes On Food Supplements

The proposal is to increase the VAT rate to 13.5% or 23% (not outlined which one yet or on which supplements) including vitamins, minerals, probiotics, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (think fish oils) and folic acid.

The big one that causes a stir is Folic acid considering it is recommended for pregnant women.

Also, people suffering from anaemia also require an Iron supplement.

Now this was attempted back in 2014 but thanks to some lobbying it was postponed.

Apparently, it’s also being lobbied against currently now, too.

Food supplements themselves appear to have been exempt from the tax since November 1972.

This was because they didn’t class food supplements as luxury items, so they didn’t carry the tax.

However, now it appears that the Government are reviewing it with the idea that certain products are liable for VAT, but currently do not have it applied.

Simply put, they think that supplements have been getting away without the higher VAT rate being applied.

Why Our Health May Suffer

Okay, I don’t mean that our health will directly deteriorate because of a VAT hike.

But it just means that supplements that have a direct benefit to our health will become more expensive if this passes.

It may possibly mean that consumers will move towards “cheaper” ones that may not be of the same quality.

The likes of vitamin supplements, fish oils and of course Vitamin D are really good for us.

In particular Vitamin D as we’re in our winter months.

It just means that by trying to look after your health, you’ll get hit in the pocket more.

I wrote previously how the Sugar Tax didn’t address the problem at all.

And in a time where we’re in a crisis of obesity and health problems, surely they should have an incentive for looking after your health.

We definitely have enough taxes to pay in other areas without having this added too.

Final Notes

So for now, we’ll have to sit tight and see how it plays out.

I could have appreciated if it was more so to regulate the quality of supplements on offer.

But it appears to be more of a “oh look, we can squeeze more money out of them here!” type thing.

The recent budget didn’t put it into play but it sounds like it will be up for further discussion in 2019.

And before anyone jumps in saying “but you can get all those from food”.

Yes, I know that.

But in such a busy world we live in, a quick vitamin supplement may keep us healthy while we work on getting more veg into our diets.

Happy Friday.


Colm Duignan

Colm Duignan

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