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Reduction in Condom VAT: A Step in the Right Direction

By January 31, 2008News

– Release date: 31 January 2008

"Today’s announcement by the Minister for Finance to reduce the VAT on Condoms from 21% to 13.5% is good news for all those who are concerned by the increasing rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections in this country” said Niall Behan Chief Executive of the Irish Family Planning Association.

“According to national surveys cost of condoms is one of the factors discouraging their use which in turn leads to increased incidence of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy.”

“Unfortunately, even with the VAT reduction condoms in Ireland will remain amongst the most expensive in Europe. The IFPA advises consumers to shop around in order to put pressure on suppliers to provide these life saving products at the lowest cost possible. The onus is on suppliers to pass on the VAT reduction to their customers and customers should hold suppliers to account on this.

“We welcome the motivation behind the VAT reduction and hope that it will be the first in a series of steps taken to promote safer sex practices in 2008, including the development of a National Sexual Health Strategy. A comprehensive Sexual Health strategy, addressing issues like the cost of contraception and access to STI screening services would pave the way for a real reduction in the rate of STIs and crisis pregnancies and should be a priority for this Government”.