German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic party (CDU) has supported plans to raise meat prices to fight climate change.

The meat tax, initially proposed by the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party, will sharply increase the prices of meat products by raising the tax rate from the current rate of 7 percent to 19 percent.

High prices will reduce carbon emissions by forcing Germans to cut on their meat consumption, top lawmakers believe. The move backed by German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner is part of a broader green agenda to fight climate change. Last month, the country’s Environment Minister Svenja Schulze proposed a carbon tax on German household to cut emissions.

The meat tax will hit poor German households the hardest. “More expensive meat might, in theory, reduce those numbers as some people cut their consumption to save money,” Reuters news agency concluded.

The radical proposal comes at a time when poverty is at its highest since the unification of Germany in 1990. Over 15 million Germans, roughly 20 percent of the population, “aren’t earning enough to pay their bills or adequately heat their homes,” a 2018 government study showed.

The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported:

German politicians from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens on Wednesday proposed raising the value added tax (VAT) on meat to the standard rate of 19%. Currently, meat is taxed at a reduced rate of 7% like most foodstuffs.

“I am in favor of abolishing the VAT reduction for meat and earmarking it for more animal welfare,” said Friedrich Ostendorf, agricultural policy spokesperson for the Greens.

His SPD counterpart Rainer Spieging added that “a meat tax, such as increasing the VAT to 19%, could be a way forward.”

The lawmakers proposed using the additional funds raised by the tax increase to support animal welfare in the country at a time when the meat industry is coming under increased scrutiny for how it treats livestock.

The agriculture spokesperson from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) was open to the plans. Under one condition:

“Such a tax can be a constructive proposal,” said Albert Stegemann. “However, the additional tax revenue should be used to support livestock farmers to help them restructure.”

Instead of coming to the aid of working-class Germans, Chancellor Merkel’s government has chosen to concentrate on climate change as they spend billions on migrant settlement and so-called green energy projects.

Merkel’s much-feted Energiewende, or energy transition, is expected to cost €520 billion by 2025. This transition from conventional to renewable energy generation has already resulted in spiraling costs of electricity and heating for the German household.

Her government’s open-door policy for illegal immigrants could come at a price tag of over €400 billion, Germany’s leading economists estimate. The cost of integrating the present and second-generation immigrants, who entered Germany in the wake of the 2015 migrant crisis, could rise up to €1.5 trillion, a 2016 economic study predicted.

And all this at a time when the German industrial sector, the country’s economic backbone, is in a phase of dramatic decline. In June, German industrial production suffered the worst annual decline in a decade. “German industrial output fall exacerbates fears of recession,” London’s Financial Times reported. “June figures raise concern that the largest eurozone economy is heading for contraction.”

Instead of focusing on the country’s economic woes, Merkel and lawmakers are engaging in voodoo economics. Taxing the Bratwurst or Schnitzel out of existence won’t solve Germany’s current problems.

Video: Ben Shapiro on Carbon Tax

[Cover image by Vijeta Uniyal]

 
 
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