Germany to Punish Farmers, Meat consumers in Pursuit of Green Policies

Plans are afoot for significant tax hikes on meat products, prompting protests from farmers.

Forrás: V4NA2024. 04. 23. 16:14
Illustration (Photo: MTVA/Tibor Olah)
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German farmers and meat producers could soon feel the brunt of yet another government decision that punishes meat-eating in the name of green policies and climate change, according to The European Conservative news site. They write that a panel of advisers on agriculture, the Zukunftskommission Landwirtschaft (ZKL) is proposing to raise the value added tax (VAT) on meat products from 7 percent to 19 percent, putting a significant burden on consumers and thereby meat producers, the international V4NA news agency highlighted.

A higher tax on meat products is needed to reduce the food sector’s impact on the environment and increase the well-being of animals,

said the government-appointed group, which is composed of representatives from the agricultural industry, retailing businesses, and consumer and animal protection groups.

Minister of Agriculture and Green Party member Cem Ozdemir has apparently welcomed the proposal. According to the daily Bild, he has long advocated for the increase of meat prices as a way to finance better conditions for livestock farming. At the same time, Ozdemir wants to reduce VAT to zero for fruit and vegetables with the intention of creating a "a health-promoting effect".

The lobby group German Farmers Association (DBV) rejected the idea of increasing taxation of steaks, sausages, ham and other meat products, arguing that the money for improving livestock farming conditions should be raised directly from the state budget.

Moreover, it’s necessary to ensure that farmers receive the required funding,

said DBV head Joachim Rukwied.

This is not the first time the left-liberal government has angered farmers, who organized mass protests at the beginning of the year in criticism of the cabinet’s climate policies, bureaucracy, and tax hikes that are destroying farmers’ livelihoods. These unpopular green measures have contributed to the decrease in people’s trust in the government, with only about a third of all voters supporting one of the three parties that make up the current cabinet, writes The European Conservative. According to a survey from January, 86 percent of people said they sympathize with the protesting farmers.

Cover photo: Illustration (Photo: MTVA/Tibor Olah) 

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