Deputy Sorca Clarke, pictured with, on right, Westmeath Independent editor Tadhg Carey, and from left, Senator Paul Daly and Deputy Robert Troy at a briefing for Oireachtas members on the VAT campaign last week in Leinster House.

'Budget must include zero VAT for newspapers' - Sorca Clarke

Sinn Féin TD for Longford Westmeath, Sorca Clarke has called for VAT on newspapers to be cut in the upcoming Budget, to give a vital lifeline to local papers across Ireland.

Deputy Clarke said:

“Local newspapers form the backbone of communities here in Longford Westmeath by connecting and informing people about local goings on.

“We saw this starkly during the pandemic, as newspapers not only shared vital public health notices, but also ensured people could stay connected with their wider community while we were all kept apart by lockdowns.

“Our newspapers are vital for democracy and championing local causes. They also employ people locally in the economy here in the midlands. Unfortunately, they are coming under huge financial pressures as the media landscape changes and many are worried about stopping their presses and closing their doors for good.

“Next week, the government will announce their Budget. One of the measures that should be included is cutting VAT on newspapers to 0%. This would be a much-needed lifeline for local newspapers. It would ensure that they can keep their doors open and keep serving local communities.

“Sinn Féin believes that this measure would be a crucial boost for local newspapers that are under pressure.

“I am urging all TDs in Longford Westmeath to stand up for local media here in Longford Westmeath by backing this measure. Local newspapers provide an important and valuable service to our communities. We must ensure that these resources are not lost due to the government failing to grasp the pressures our local newspapers are under. It’s time for 0% VAT on newspapers.”