Knesset plenum votes down bill to eliminate VAT on prescription drugs

Bill was proposed by Meretz MK Ilan Gilon, who argues that many people have to choose between food and drugs for chronic diseases.

November 12, 2014 17:00
1 minute read.

Pills. (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Knesset plenum rejected on Wednesday its preliminary reading of a private member’s bill that would exempt prescription drugs from Value Added Tax. Last week, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted it down as well. Seventeen MKs voted in favor and 32 against.

The bill was proposed by Meretz MK Ilan Gilon, who argued that many people have to choose between food and drugs for chronic diseases. There are other products, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, that are also exempt from VAT, he said.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The taking of prescribed drugs, he continued, is directly linked to a longer life and higher quality of life.

There is no VAT on prescription drugs in many developed countries, and Finance Minister Yair Lapid has been trying for many months to get a VAT exemptions on new apartments for some young couples.

“There are things that I wouldn’t tax at all. Once and for all,” said Gilon, “one must stop this and eliminate this tax on drugs.” After his defeat, Gilon vowed to raise the bill again “like a Swiss clock every six months.”

Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy said he appreciated Gilon’s ability to renew the vote on the bill every six month, but the government “doesn’t intend to expand the list of products with a VAT exemption. If not, there will be a flood of requests from many sectors for the same thing on baby food,  vehicle brake pads, tires, water, electricity and school books.”

Related Content

Sodastream sold to Pepsico for 3.2 billion dollars, Aug 20, 2018
August 20, 2018
SodaStream to stay in Israel after $3.2 billion acquisition