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Map Price Increases and VAT

Customers of our print maps will appreciate that the retail prices of our standard paper folded and laminated folded have remained fairly steady over the last 5 years. I’ve always held the view that maps should be reasonably priced and accessible. We face the same rising costs however as everyone else and in particular our production costs have risen steadily in that time and by 25% this year alone.

You may have noticed that in the recent budget that newspaper publishers have been given a 0% VAT rate, largely to deal with rising print & production costs. Book publishers have always benefited from a zero VAT rating on books. Despite raising the matter both before & after each budget in recent years, the authorities have not extended the same benefit to map publishing. For every laminated map we sell, nearly €2 has to be paid to the state. The state that has no mechanism to help fund our efforts to produce better mapping for the public. Since maps are sold below cost of production, unbelievably we thus pay the state for the privilege of this work. Furthermore the current 9% VAT on maps will likely rise to 13.5% next spring. Some politicians have justified this with allegations of price gouging. What an insult!

I had hoped that map publishers (EastWest Mapping and Ordnance Survey Ireland – the state) would be treated equally for VAT with a 0% rate. This would have helped us to absorb the extra print & production costs and keep retail prices the same. In the absence of this, from 1st Jan 2023 our standard paper folded 1:25,000 map will rise from €12.90 to €14.50 and our laminated folded 1:25,000 map will rise from €20.50 to €23.00. If there is any change in the interim in VAT rates for print maps, we’ll cancel these price increases.