Last week, German legislators proposed raising the value-added tax (VAT) on meat to the standard 19 percent—a sales tax applied to many goods in the country, including oat milk. Currently, meat is taxed at a reduced VAT of seven percent, which some lawmakers believe is unjustified. “I favor abolishing the VAT reduction for meat and using it (the money raised) instead for more animal welfare,” Friedrich Ostendorff, a spokesperson for the agriculture sector of Germany’s Alliance 90/The Greens political party told local newspaper Die Welt. Thomas Schröder, president of organization German Animal Welfare Federation, also welcomed the idea of applying the standard VAT to meat products, stating, “Parallel to the CO2 tax, we also need a meat tax.” In the first half of 2019, Germany produced 4.3 tons of meat by slaughtering nearly 30 million pigs, cows, sheep, goats, horses, and birds, according to the Federal Statistics Office. A raised VAT on meat encourages the consumption of plant-based products, a move that politicians argue will benefit Germany’s goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent by 2030.
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