NewBrands Ireland welcomes today’s Budget announcement that VAT is to end on print and digital newspapers

Representative body for Ireland’s national news publishers says today is a good for journalism and a recognition of its critical role in a healthy democracy

27. September 2022. NewsBrands Ireland, the representative body for Ireland’s national news publishers, welcomes today’s announcement by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, that VAT is be abolished on print and digital newspapers.

At 9%, Ireland has one of the highest rates of tax on newspapers in Europe and NewsBrands Ireland have long campaigned on the issue citing it as an unjust tax on information, learning and democracy. 22 European countries including Denmark, the UK, Belgium, Norway, Austria and France, have lower rates of VAT on newspapers, as well as providing other direct and indirect supports for journalism.

Speaking following the Budget announcement, Colm O’ Reilly, Chairman of Newsbrands Ireland and COO of the Business Post Group, said, “Irish people value trusted journalism, and this is borne out in research which shows that 82% read a print or digital newspaper every week. The news publishing industry is future focused and this VAT reduction will provide our sector with the financial leverage to continue our investment in the transition to digital and investment required to ensure citizens have continued access to fact-checked, trusted journalism.

The cut to VAT on newspapers and digital subscriptions was recommended by the Future of Media Commission in their Report issued earlier this year and thanks to new EU VAT rules, agreed by the EU finance ministers, the Irish government was in position to apply a zero rate of VAT this year.  

Ann Marie Lenihan, CEO of NewsBrands Ireland, thanked the government for “recognising the value of newspaper journalism in society and democracy” and added that: “NewsBrands Ireland will continue to campaign for journalism and the challenges it faces including  the urgent reform of Ireland’s draconian defamation laws and addressing the dominance of tech platforms in the digital advertising market.”