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VAT on newspapers likely to be abolished, Taoiseach indicates

Government discussions about slashing the VAT rate are underway.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said the Government are looking at abolishing VAT on newspapers in this year’s budget. 

Speaking to reporters in the Irish Consulate on Park Avenue in New York, the Taoiseach said he is “positively disposed” to cutting Ireland’s 9% VAT rate for newspapers. 

Following the publication of the Future of Media Commission report, the Taoiseach said they wanted to do “everything we possibly can” to ensure that print media survive, stating that it is operating in a “very difficult environment”. 

“We will be examining that positively,” he said, adding that it is under consideration at the moment as budget negotiations kick up a gear over the weekend ahead of budget day on Tuesday.

“It is an issue that is on the table certainly,” he said. 

The media has proven itself throughout the pandemic, in terms of bringing information to people, he said. 

The Taoiseach said it goes to the heart of what is being debated in the United Nations in terms of the centrality of the media to democracy. 

It is unclear if the move extends to online subscriptions and all news providers or just physical newspapers.

Both Sinn Feín and Labour have also called for the 0% VAT rate on newspapers in their alternative budgets. 

The Future of Media Commission was set up by the Government in 2020 to examine the future of Ireland’s broadcast, print and online media, and to consider how it can remain sustainable and deliver public service aims over the next decade.

The report made 50 recommendations.

The VAT rate on print and digital newspapers in Ireland is among the highest in Europe.

Other countries such as Denmark, the UK, Belgium, Norway, Austria and France have a zero or reduced tax rate. 

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