THE medical profession and sporting/voluntary bodies are in unison believing that ready access to a defibrillator could be a life source.
Towards that objective, I recently proposed a notice of motion to Kerry County Council calling on the government to waive or absorb the 21 per cent VAT on the life-saving machines.
The response from the Department of Finance states that due to EU rules it is unable to accede to the request. It is surely bureaucratic nonsense to punish clubs and organisations who are deeply committed to the well being of their members and of society.
Membership of the European Union should not result in our own government being denied flexibility in matters of genuine concern to people.
Government should exist to enhance the overall quality of citizens’ lives and the EU should not have dictatorial power to extinguish that duty.
Michael Gleeson (Cllr),
(The Kingdom, July 13, 2006)
‘Cut VAT on defibrillators for clubs’
By Donal Hickey
A FORMER All-Ireland winning Kerry footballer yesterday called for the removal of 21% value-added tax (VAT) on defibrillators being purchased by sports and social clubs.Kerry County Council member Michael Gleeson said defibrillators saved lives and clubs should be given every encouragement to purchase them.
Costing around €1,650, the equipment is used to administer electric shock to people suffering cardiac arrest.
Mr Gleeson said it was important to have defibrillators in public playing areas as time was of the essence when dealing with cardiac arrest.
Statistics suggest if a defibrillator is used within two minutes, a person has an 80% chance of survival.
But, the survival rate is reduced by 7%-10% with each passing minute.
The winner of All-Ireland medals with Kerry in 1969 and ‘70, Cllr Gleeson said the removal of the 21% levy would be a positive gesture to those giving voluntary service to society.
“It would give due recognition to the vital role of sporting and social clubs,” he said.
Cllr Gleeson, a Killarney-based primary teacher, also got the support of the council for his call on the Government to provide recreation halls and sports facilities in all primary schools.
While medical experts emphasised the need for action against excess weight in children, he said teachers and schools were not given properly facilities.
“Money spent now on making available proper halls will save much future expenditure on treating health problems,” said Cllr Gleeson.
(Irish Examiner, 26 January 2006)