Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (2nd May 2012) met with representatives of Glanbia Nutritionals at their Middlesbrough based factory to discuss changes announced in March’s Budget to VAT on sports nutrition drinks.
Currently, sports nutrition drinks are exempt from VAT but proposals set out in the Budget are likely to damage small, specialist manufacturers, and increase cost to the general public.
“It’s concerning that the Government are attempting to rush through this change without the appropriate consultation period – six weeks as opposed to twelve – and I don’t think they are aware of the potential consequences.
“As you would expect, Glanbia Nutritionals are concerned about the potential cost of running this part of their business in Middlesbrough once the VAT change goes ahead. I’m concerned that, as Middlesbrough is the only manufacturing site in Europe approved by ‘Informed Sport’, a quality assurance programme testing for banned substances; this may lead to customers to turn to less reputable sources that can potentially be harmful.
“Also, as many have already pointed out, it is puzzling that this change is coming in a year when sport is high on the national agenda with the Olympics in London and Euro 2012, but also when we have a growing obesity crisis and falling standards of public health.”