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Friday, March 1, 2024

German government weakens controversial agricultural tax plan after protests

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After protests in the country, the German government is abandoning an abrupt stop on fuel subsidies for farmers. Instead, they will be phased out over the coming years. An exceptional position for tax on agricultural vehicles remains.

To close a gap in the German budget totaling around 30 billion euros, the government wants to make cuts. Certain support schemes for the agricultural sector would be abolished, such as cheaper fuel and certain tax exemptions on agricultural vehicles.

But that led to large-scale protests. Next week has even been declared a protest week by the Deutscher Bauernverband. A large demonstration is planned in Berlin the following Monday. There were also demonstrations at the Brandenburg Gate in December.

It has now been agreed to reduce fuel subsidies over the course of a few years and to abolish them in 2026. The removal of the vehicle tax exception for agricultural vehicles will not go ahead at all.

But the organizers of the protests want the tax proposals to be scrapped altogether. “This can only be a first step,” says the chairman of the Deutscher Bauernverband.

“It is clearly also about the future of our industry and the question of whether domestic food production is still desirable. We will therefore continue to stick to our week of action.”

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