Slovakia reduces VAT to 10% on certain food items

Bratislava, September 19 (TASR) - Value-added tax on selected food, including, for example, healthy dairy products, many types of fruit and vegetables from the temperate zone [i.e. typically grown in Slovakia], honey and bread, will fall from 20 percent to 10 percent, as Parliament passed a bill sponsored by the Slovak National Party (SNS) along with an amending proposal by SNS MP Eva Antosova on Thursday.

The range of food to which lower VAT will apply was narrowed down in line with Antosova's proposal. She said that this step will reduce the measure's impact on the state budget, which now amounts to €65 million. "I think that we found a good compromise during coalition talks, and we've chosen foodstuffs that we view as the most important and mainly healthy because we believe that people's health comes first," said Antosova, adding that the aim is to save money for people and support domestic food producers as well.


SNS Expects VAT Reduction to Be Reflected in Lower Food Prices

Bratislava, September 19 (TASR) - The junior coalition Slovak National Party (SNS) believes that a reduction in VAT on selected food will be reflected in lower prices in outlets as well, said SNS leader Andrej Danko following Parliament's approval of VAT cuts for such food from 20 to 10 percent on Thursday.
Slovakia has much higher VAT on food than Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Spain, for example, stated Danko. "Therefore, reducing VAT on food is justified. Having 20-percent VAT on food means that food is overpriced not only in retail outlets, but also in restaurants," stated Danko. According to the new legislation, VAT on selected food, such as healthy dairy products, many types of fruit and vegetables from the temperate zone, honey and bread, will drop to 10 percent. Danko quantified the measure's impact on the state budget at €65 million. If VAT on all food were lowered, the impact would be over €500 million. "When choosing food for VAT reduction, our goal was to help hotels and restaurants to reduce the prices of healthy food," said Danko.
Meanwhile, the SNS leader didn't rule out a further reduction of VAT on food if the party remains in government. "It's the first trial package via which we want to test the reactions of retail chains and the market, to see whether it's a good way to reduce prices. I assume that if VAT is reduced, prices for end consumers should go down as well."
Danko advised people to keep an eye on the prices of selected food in outlets. "I'm positive that the prices of the commodities we've selected will go down by the end of the year," he said.