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Zero VAT on HRT will improve equality of access for women – Higgins

27th September 2022 - Emer Higgins, TD

The removal of VAT from Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) will help improve equality of access to the much-needed products for women across the country, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Emer Higgins, who has campaigned on this issue, was speaking after Minister Paschal Donohoe announced the extension of the zero rate of VAT to non-oral medicine in today’s Budget, meaning the removal of VAT from HRT.

Deputy Higgins said, “Removing VAT from HRT is something I have called for in order to help improve equality of access to these very necessary products for women across the country.

“I am delighted that Minister Donohoe has opted to do this, meaning VAT will be removed from HRT from January 2023.

“A zero VAT rate is applied to oral medicines in Ireland and the EU VAT Directive of April 2022 allowed Member States increased flexibility in how they apply VAT rates. This gave Government the option to expand the zero rate that applies to oral medicines to cover non oral medicines, including injections, infusions, liniments, ointments and transdermal patches; and so could cover HRT patches and gels.

“Fine Gael in Government has prioritised women’s issues, in particular women’s health, and I am delighted that Budget 2023 has continued this trend.

“Removing VAT from HRT is a pro-women policy along with today’s announcement to apply zero VAT to the small number of period products that were still subject to 9%, as well as extending free contraception to women aged between 16 and 30.

“This is also very much in line with the overall Government policy to reduce the cost of medicines and it will be a great boost for women who depend on HRT to treat the extreme symptoms of menopause, many of whom find the cost prohibitive.

“Access to HRT is of course another significant challenge for women. I recently raised the issue of access to HRT given the global supply issues in the Dáil, and the Taoiseach gave me a direct commitment that Government will do all it possibly can to secure additional supplies”, concluded Deputy Higgins.

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