Behind the mandatory masks: The State to collect 46.5 million euros of VAT every week

Tax of 21 per cent on an item that is now a necessity. Credit: Pixabay

Masks are now mandatory, however, with a tax of 21 per cent, and not the 10 per cent which should correspond, who is really winning?

The Government has finally forced citizens to wear a mask on the street and not only on public transport or in small spaces such as shops.

The obligation will not be enforceable in the following cases: People who present some type of respiratory difficulty, people for whom the use of a mask is contradictory for health reasons or who, due to their situation of disability or dependency, present behavioural changes that make its use unfeasible.

A person would spend an average of €27 a month to comply, if they were to resort to hygienic masks. If you buy surgical masks the cost amounts to €29. The great beneficiary is the State since a weekly supply of about 200 million masks is going to be needed, thus raising €46.5 million per week. This is because, even though masks are a product considered essential to stop the chain of contagion from the virus, it is a product “punished” via consumer taxes (through VAT). Thus, the price increases throughout the distribution chain, from the manufacturer to the pharmacy.

The Interministerial Commission on Drug Prices of the Ministry of Health has decided that the price of each mask will be 0.96 cents, VAT included. And this tax will continue to be  21 per cent, instead of the lower percentage that is applied to basic necessities.

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