Budget decision to scrap VAT on defibrillators welcomed

By June Shannon Policy News   |   27th Sep 2022

The Irish Heart Foundation led the campaign to scrap the VAT on AEDs

The Budget decision to scrap VAT on defibrillators has been hailed as a “victory for common sense” by the Irish Heart Foundation which led the campaign against the tax.

The Irish Heart Foundation’s Director of Advocacy, Chris Macey, insisted lives will be saved as a result of today’s decision.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are easy-to-use portable devices that, in some cardiac arrests, can deliver a shock to the heart to allow it to resume its normal rhythm. However, AEDs on average cost €1,500, including €345 VAT – making them unaffordable for many community organisations.

“Every minute counts when someone has a cardiac arrest – and without CPR or defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by 10 per cent.  The earlier an AED is used, the better a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest,” Mr Macey stated.

“The decision to remove the 23% rate of VAT on AEDs (from January 1) is a victory for common sense. More lives will now be saved as a result as they will become more accessible to clubs and community organisations,” he added.

" We cannot sacrifice another generation of children to nicotine addiction.”

Mr Chris Macey, Director of Advocacy, The Irish Heart Foundation

However, while also welcoming the VAT removal on nicotine replacement products, Mr Macey said the 50c rise in the price of a packet of cigarettes was a sign Ireland had become “complacent” in the battle against nicotine addiction.

Budget 2023, he said, was as a “missed opportunity” to get the ball rolling on bringing the cost of a packet to €20 by 2025.

“We led the way with our smoking ban. Other countries are now approaching a tobacco end game. In New Zealand, for example, new laws mean under-14s won’t be allowed to buy tobacco in their lifetimes. But in Ireland we are becoming complacent,” said Mr Macey.

The charity also expressed disappointment that its call for a 10c excise duty on every millilitre of e-cigarette liquid sold went unheard.

“Research shows that young people who vape are up to five times more likely to move onto (tobacco) smoking than those who don’t. We cannot sacrifice another generation of children to nicotine addiction,” Mr Macey added.

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