The government is being urged to act on new powers it will have to determine VAT rates on defibrillators.

MEPs, who are meeting in Strasbourg, have backed an overhaul of the VAT system across Europe.

Member states will have more flexibility, in certain cases, to decide the rate applied to some products - including defibrillators, which currently attract a 23 per cent rate.

In the past the Irish government has said its hands are tied when it to comes to decision making on VAT.

Independent MEP for Midlands North-West, Marian Harkin, wants the Government to now remove VAT from defibrillators:

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