In this file:
· Germany may introduce 'meat tax' to protect the environment
· German politicians respond to calls for higher meat tax
· 'We need a meat tax': German politicians pitch plan to improve animal welfare
Germany may introduce 'meat tax' to protect the environment
Currently meat has reduced tax rate of 7 per cent but politicians say it should increase to 19
Phoebe Weston, Science Correspondent, Independent (UK)
Aug 7, 2019
Germany could introduce a "meat tax" to protect the climate and improve animal welfare.
Currently meat in the country has a reduced tax rate of seven per cent but the Social Democrat party and the Greens are arguing that this should increase to the standard 19 per cent, with additional revenue spent on improving animal welfare.
"I am in favour of abolishing the VAT reduction for meat and earmarking it for more animal welfare," Friedrich Ostendorf, agricultural policy spokesperson for the Greens told The Local website.
He said it mad "no sense" that meat was taxed at seven per cent while oat milk is taxed at 19 per cent.
Albert Stegemann, the agriculture spokesperson from Angela Merkel's party Christian Democrat party was open to the plans put forward by Germany's Animal Welfare Association. He described them as a "constructive proposal".
He said: "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."
However Bernhard Krüsken, General Secretary of the German Farmers' Association was against the tax.
Opposition parties including the Left Party and Alternative for Germany party also rejected the proposals.
Researchers from the University of Oxford estimate that by 2020 there will be 2.4 million deaths attributable to red and processed meat consumption globally. This would have an associated healthcare cost of $285bn (£235bn).
Developed countries consume double the global average of red and processed meat and experts belive raising prices would encourage people to eat healthier and less harmful foods.
Current levels of meat consumption are also believed to be unsustainable on environmental grounds...
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German politicians respond to calls for higher meat tax
Source: Xinhua (China)|Editor: Shi Yinglun
BERLIN, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- The German government should introduce a levy on meat to improve living conditions for livestock, the German Animal Welfare Federation announced on Wednesday.
"Parallel to the CO2 tax we also need a meat tax," Thomas Schroeder, President of the German Animal Welfare Federation told the German newspaper Welt.
The proceeds could be used to finance the conversion of German livestock stables while the price increase per kilo of meat, liter of milk or egg carton would be "only a few cents," according to Schroeder.
Agricultural politicians from the German Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party supported the idea of increasing the price of meat but preferred to raise the value-added tax (VAT) on meat.
"I am in favor of abolishing the VAT reduction for meat and earmarking it for more animal welfare," Friedrich Ostendorff, agricultural policy spokesperson for the Green parliamentary group told the newspaper Welt.
It was "not possible to explain" why meat in Germany was taxed at 7 percent while oat milk, for example, was taxed at 19 percent, criticized Ostendorff.
Most staple foods in Germany are taxed at only 7 percent including for example, flour, spices, meat, vegetables and fruit.
Meanwhile, beverages are taxed at 19 percent as well as food that is considered a luxury, such as oysters, lobster and caviar.
Rainer Spiering, spokesperson for the German Social Democrats (SPD) on agricultural policy, similarly supported an increase in the VAT on meat.
"A meat tax, for the sake of simplicity by increasing VAT to 19 percent, would be a possible way forward but one that would mainly affect consumers," Spiering told the German newspaper Welt.
The SPD politician stressed that German meat producers and food retailers needed to "make their contribution to sustainable livestock farming".
The German government reacted cautiously to proposals for a higher VAT on meat and a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Environment said that the main problem was high livestock numbers and intensive animal husbandry.
There were, however, more effective means than VAT laws to achieve a "reduction" including stricter fertilizer regulations in regions with many large livestock stalls, according to the German environment ministry spokesperson.
According the scientific advisory board of the German Ministry of Agriculture, the costs for the conversion of animal farming were estimated at 3 to 5 billion euros (3.36 to 5.6 billion U.S. dollars).
The road to socially sustainable livestock farming would cost billions of euros, which farmers in "Germany cannot bear alone," said the conservative CDU's agricultural spokesperson Albert Stegemann on Wednesday.
Stegemann was open to the idea of a meat tax, which he described as "a constructive proposal," but the conservative politician emphasized that the additional income should be designated "as an animal welfare premium" in order to support German livestock farmers during restructuring.
The German Farmers' Association (DBV) rejected a meat tax...
'We need a meat tax': German politicians pitch plan to improve animal welfare
7 August 2019
The meat industry currently pays less than half of Germany's standard VAT (value added tax). Now many are arguing that that it's high time for this to change.
German politicians are speaking out in favour of raising the VAT (Mehrwertsteuer) on meat in a bid to improve animal welfare and cut CO2 emissions.
The decision makers want to raise the tax to the standard VAT, or 19 percent, up from the current seven percent that consumers are required to pay for meat products.
“I’m in favour of raising the VAT reduction and using it for greater animal protection” said Friedrich Ostendorf, a Greens spokesman on agricultural policy.
He pointed out that there is no reason that the meat should be taxed less, while products such as oat milk are taxed the standard 19 percent VAT.
The increase was originally put forward by Germany’s Animal Welfare Association. “Parallel to the CO2 tax, we also need a meat tax,” its president Thomas Schröder said, pointing out that meat, milk and eggs only cost "a few cents" per kilo.
The increased VAT, say the politicians, would have the double advantage of reducing CO2 emissions.
In its 2016 climate protection plan, Germany's so-called 'grand coalition' – made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the centre-left Social Democrats – agreed in targets for the agricultural sector: by 2030, emissions should fall by 31 to 34 percent compared with 1990 levels.
'It would affect consumers' ...
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