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Germany Considers Meat Tax Increase To Benefit Environment And Animals

by | August 12, 2019

German politicians are considering a meat tax increase in the hopes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving animal welfare.

The idea — originally put forward by Thomas Schröder, president of the German Animal Welfare Federation — has received support from members of the political parties the Social Democrats and the Greens. Members of each party have endorsed a raise in value-added tax (VAT) on meat from seven to the 19 percent, a sales tax percentage already applicable to many goods in Germany.

This raised VAT, policymakers argue, will encourage the consumption of plant-based products, and aid in Germany’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent by 2030.

Man shopping for meat with meat tax
The new VAT would be 19% (Source: Lemusique/Shutterstock.com)

Agribusiness And Meat Tax

It’s not only the Social Democrats and The Greens that have been receptive to the proposal.

“This additional income would have to be used as an animal welfare premium in order to support the livestock farmers in Germany during their restructuring,” said Agriculture Spokesperson of the Christian Democrat party, Albert Stegemann.

Bernhard Krüsken, General Secretary of the German Farmers’ Association, on the other hand, was in favor of a cash injection — but not from increased tax.

“It is not the tax authorities but farmers who need funds and support for the further development of animal husbandry,” he said.

Do you think increased meat tax is a good way to combat climate change or improve animal welfare? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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