Future of Media Commission Report – NewsBrands Ireland statement

NewsBrands Ireland, the representative body for Ireland’s national news publishers, welcomes the long-awaited publication of the Future of Media Commission report and we will review the recommendations in detail.

The report recommends a super-reduced or zero VAT rate to newspapers and digital publications. Since the report was finalised last year, changes have been made to the EU VAT Directive, allowing print and digital newspapers to be zero rated for VAT. Several European countries already apply a zero rate in support of journalism whilst also providing a range of other supports.

The most significant decision that the Government can make to immediately support the news publishing industry would be to introduce a zero rate of VAT on print and digital newspapers in Budget 2023.

Given the huge structural challenges the sector faces, its importance to our democracy and the absence of any economic supports currently, reducing the VAT rate to zero will immediately enhance the viability of the Irish news publishing industry and facilitate the ongoing investment required to ensure citizens have access to fact-checked, trusted journalism.