Campaign to have 9% VAT rate removed from Mayo newspapers
The Irish newspaper sector has ramped up its campaign ahead of the Budget to have the nine per cent VAT removed from print and online journalism.
Local Ireland, which represents the provincial newspaper sector, is making representations to all Oireachtas members about the need to have the tax removed on journalism.
The organisation will be making a presentation at Leinster House on September 15 ahead of the Budget.
JOURNALISM UNDER THREAT
• The growing power of the big tech platforms is disrupting journalism worldwide.
• New digital advertising models have put enormous pressure on local and national media.
• The growth of disinformation online means trusted, professional sources of news are more vital than ever and key to democracy itself.
• The new EU VAT directive means the Irish government now has the power to remove VAT on print and online newspapers.
• Introducing a 0% VAT rate in Budget 2023 will provide crucial support to journalism and news publishers.
• Other European countries support journalism with zero or lower rate VAT. Ireland’s VAT rate for news publishers is 9%. The UK is zero.
• Doing nothing is not an option. The Irish government needs to act now.
THE NEED FOR QUALITY JOURNALISM
• Local newspapers are vital to their communities and provide factual sources to inform views and policy decisions.
• Quality, professional journalism is essential for a healthy democracy and supports the wider news eco-system for broadcasters and digital publishers.
• Without newspapers and their digital content, many important stories would not be told.
• Irish people love news. 82% of the population read a print or digital news title every week.
CHANGE NEEDED NOW
• Journalism faces challenges from the cost of living crisis, the growing commercial power of tech platforms, the legacy of the pandemic which hit advertising and circulation and the soaring costs of newsprint, which has increased 140% over the last 18 months.
• Zero VAT would allow Irish news publishers to help secure their future by investing in the business of journalism, giving greater value to readers and preserving jobs.
• News publishers need to invest in digital transition. Ending VAT would help support their transformation to competitive online models.
A detailed submission was made to the Department of Finance before the summer recess.
The measure to help national and local newspapers would realise €18.5 million for the sector.