Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) is advocating for an increase in VAT on meat products from the current 7 per cent to 9 or 10 per cent.


VAT on meat should be increased, says German agriculture minister


German agriculture minister Cem Özdemir of The Greens advocated for an increase in VAT on meat products.

He said he wanted the current 7 per cent boosted to 9 or 10 per cent to fund the planned conversion of barns aimed at “improving animal welfare”.

“If we use the money specifically for barn renovations, we could help fulfill the wishes. The vast majority of consumers are happy that animals are kept better,” he stated on WELT TV show Politician Grilling with Jan Philipp Burgard broadcast on July 4.

He emphasised that the change “would also support farmers”. According to the minister, the VAT increase would be used to improve facilities to provide better treatment for animals.

Özdemir said he believed that an increase of 2 or 3 percentage points on the current VAT rate was manageable for consumers: “I think they barely notice it,” he claimed.

He expressed hope that the project could be implemented with a bipartisan majority during the current legislative period.

An agreement must first be reached within the traffic-light ruling coalition and then with the opposition.

“I know many in the Union who say: this could be a viable option, it is justifiable,” the minister said.

He also offered his views on the international political landscape and said he sought to act as a firewall against the rise of the Right in Europe and North America.

“We see the pictures in France with [Marine] Le Pen [of hard-right National Rally], we see the pictures in the USA with the fear of whether [former US president Donald] Trump could come back. It is all the more important that Germany remains predictable and stable and does not end up in any kind of turmoil.

“We really don’t need that right now.”