Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Paige says Relax

As they tend to do, the press has picked up on a story about VAT on condoms and has become indignant at the stupidity of taxing a public health initiative. You see the whole thing revolves around considering that for tax purposes, prophylatics are considered as a luxury item and are hence VAT rated at 21%. The argument is lazily put forward that sheaths are not luxury items they are an essential for safe sex.

Perhaps it is old age but I find myself becoming all Alice Glenn with rage. Of course condoms are luxury goods. Every day essentials are sanitary towels, hair-straighteners, fishnet stockings and good put-down lines. Medication for an asthmatic child is clearly a luxury item and so we should tax the hell out of those wheezers. Women who have drunken sex with their repulsive bosses at christmas parties need help not some stealth sheath tax.

But perhaps the thing that worried me most about the whole story was the troublesome observation that the Revenue Commissioners could not say how much tax was being gathered by way of VAT on condom sales. Like the size of the tax take had any relevance to the argument. Can someone not start a campaign to boycott BP or Shell for the environmental impact of selling petroleum refinery byproducts to a dodgy firm to mould into ultra-thin, ribbed for added sensitivity, rubber johnnies?

For the poor bastard who steps out of line in the Revenue commissioners and for their trouble is asked to quantify the tax take on condom VAT, perhaps I could give you a quick ready reckoner.

You multiple the annual sales in condoms by the average price and then calculate VAT @ 21%. In this instance the calculations are not complicated by a withholding tax.


(And if the damn fine chap from the Dept of Finance who regularly devastates me with his smile on the 8:05 to Blackrock wants, I'm willing to engage in some research in the field on this subject!)

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Anonymous that girl said...

I'm assuming that would be vat registered research?

12:08 a.m., March 07, 2007  
Blogger JL Pagano said...

So long as the government practices safe tax, we have nothing to worry about.

Buh-bum PISH!

9:14 a.m., March 07, 2007  
Blogger John of Dublin said...

Good one!

I remember in the 80s when VAT at point of entry to Ireland for importers was introduced. There was a great picture on front of Phoenix magazine with a guy saying "I suppose there will be a tax on sex next?". To which the then minister for finance replied..."Yes, at the point of entry".

11:05 a.m., March 07, 2007  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

Vat on Condoms? Whatever next? I mean, that they are actually sold... never mind that one can now admit to their existence... that of course is progress.....

Is it still the case that persons cannot be prosecuted for soliticitation, because there is no actual laws in place on prostitution, because in the good old ROI, it didn't actually exist... sex of the selling of it that is .... as of course sex and condoms didn't either at one point.... all very confusing.

Good luck with the guy on the 8.05, in a researching way, of course...

8:34 a.m., March 12, 2007  

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