Sunday, December 8, 2019

By hate I mean distrust - for the suffering the Finance Minister brings

Dear Finance Minister,

Let’s just outline the lies, misleading, incriminating and very telling way you handled the tax of health supplements.
I received a copy of your written answer to why you slapped VAT on food supplements. 
It starts by saying that you did it in 'response to complaints from the IHTA'. I looked up the IHTA to see if they were some organization with lots of big pharma directors on the board. I reckoned it was only the ‘medicine’, drug, vaccine pushing people who would want to block the public’s access to supplements that boost our natural immune systems. But no, the IHTA represent the health food shops. 
They didn’t complain, did they? They asked that there be consistency in the zero-rating for food supplements and the Revenue not sneak in VAT for new products, on tenuous and unfair grounds. In your 'written reply' you implied that the IHTA complained and insisted you review and tax all food supplements. This will lead to pricing them out of the market, independent health stores will close down and price their products out of range of the normal human being. I rang the IHTA to check why you had put on the VAT to respond to their complaint. And I gathered:
They actually complained about how revenue were slipping vat on to lots of products that should have fallen under the zero rating. 
I gathered that the subject went before an Oireachtas Committee where the two points in question were unequivocally cleared up: Are food supplements food? Are they of benefit? Natural food supplements are food. They provide the protein, vitamins, minerals and probiotics – digestive flora – and antioxidants that are sorely missing from our artificially ripened fruits, our chemical-laced vegetables and preservative-injected meat. Secondly, Dr Eilis Clare put a strong case for the benefits of natural food supplements. The Oireachtas Committee made a unanimous recommendation to you to keep the zero VAT rating and make it consistent for all natural health supplements.
You ignored their recommendation.
Then there was the IHTA and the 121 shops; the petition signed by 1000s of people who rely on their local health food shop as the only place where ethically sourced, natural health supporting products can be found. Fianna Fail pointed out how this move to charge VAT will put many businesses at risk of closure.
You ignored all the Public Participation, the trade representatives, the doctor’s advice and we asked ourselves, whose advice are you taking?
You say that you were guided to put this tax on health by the Revenue. But your written answer gives away your real guiding force. You say it’s ‘important to clarify’ that certain products would not be impacted…all eyes turn to them. Who could they be?
Registered medicines – pharmaceutical manufacturers
Registered foods – Infant formula (Do you need to support the dairy industry and Nestle’s profits further? Are you so removed from real life that you haven’t heard that two thirds of all women now do not trust that they can feed their baby through breast-feeding. Obviously we should be boosting women’s health and confidence in their ability to look after themselves and their offspring? Have you not heard how dehydrated infant formula is sent all round the world where water is not clean enough to rehydrate the ‘milk’ safely? Have you not heard that Nestle holds the keys to deep clean aquifers in these countries but will not allow access? 
Have you not heard that the pharmaceuticals coat their pills with casein from the dairy industry – a carcinogenic product – that can only increase the public’s ill health and guarantee return customers for their medicines? Oh look, another exemption….fortified milks. So no VAT for the added Calcium and other random additions to milks. 
Unlike the marketing gurus who add calcium to milk for example, health supplement producers are skilled, small scale experts. They have explored how the human body can best detox, expel, absorb, be nourished with - whatever it needs.
You are deliberately creating a nanny state where the public are unable to keep themselves well and fend off ill health. On the other hand, you simultaneously allow State supported adverts for flu vaccines for pregnant women and elderly people. Seriously vulnerable people subjected to medicines supplied by companies that are completely unaccountable. You only have to look at the courts and the narcolepsy hearing that found the vaccine to have caused the life-long condition... AND somehow the HSE and the State (so us) are to foot the bill, not the manufacturers. 
You should be ashamed of yourself letting only the money interests have the sway, especially as if you did budget fairly, those big players (Pharmaceutical, Nestle, Kerry and Glanbia, Queally, Kepak, Goodman meat and the agrichemical giants would pull their weight and the revenue would recoup plenty of tax. This could then be used to finance every other project needed now, to patch up the damage they’re doing - to public health and the environment .
Take Round Up...and you do in every meal. That is accumulative in the system and disables four main digestive enzymes, rendering people unable to break down food, let alone gluten and contributing to Ulcerated Collitis, Chrones, and Lupus, IBS etc etc.
Oh yes, that’s funny you lied about not having any choice too. There is a 9% VAT bracket but you didn’t choose that. And there was the recommended zero rating but you didn't choose that either. You choose 13.5%...
13.5% Same as 'take away food' (fondly referred to by The Streets as the 'shit in a tray merchants' – That’s a little ‘counter to positive health policy’, don't you agree with Bobby Aylward of Fianna Fail on that?
Oh yes Sugar is still 0% - zero-rated for VAT
Sugar that blocks Vitamin C getting to the cells and feeds cancer cells like they’re going out of fashion.
So yes, I hope you can’t sleep at night. And while you are lying awake, please do some research on health supplements as one day you will need them, you probably need them now as the building blocks to a robust immune system…but perhaps you can get them on your expense account or quickly get them authorized as ‘medicines’ by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (I can't wait to look them up and see whose on their board), as and when you need them? By then it may be too late. The health food shops in the UK for example have all shut down. It's not cheap to produce organic grains, pulses, trace elements, vitamins and everything kindly produced - not tested on animals. These things are important to people. And not to be found in any other shops.
Personally, we think you should listen to public opinion, or are 1000s of signatures not enough for you? We think you should listen to the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee? Presumably that is made up of several competent people specifically in order to hear the presentations and investigate properly and then advise the government how to best proceed. …A bit like the 17 million to the greyhound industry. 
Does it ever occur to you that you are responsible for public money? All you are doing is heavily regulating and killing off the independent efforts, lifetimes of industry, skill, good practice, survival and sovereignty of small businesses and producers, by fleecing everyone apart from the industries that can afford to pay. For them; no tax, no vat, no compliance, no ethics, no standards. What they serve up is not food. That would be right. Poisons, toxic to land and consumer. But health food supplements, really?
You must know this but just so you know, we hate you for it and ask you to put things right.

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