German consumers would pay increased taxes on their bratwurst if some German politicians have their way. Fitch Solutions reports a coalition of German politicians has proposed increasing the value added tax (VAT) on meat to 19 percent. Meat is currently taxed at a rate of 7 percent like other food staples. Denmark and Sweden have also seen similar proposals in recent years.
Health, environmental, and ethical arguments have been offered to support the proposal. Supporters argue excessive amounts of meat are eaten which increases the risks of various health ailments and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. And, supporters use animal welfare concerns to argue in favor of the tax. Their hope is the tax increase will result in less meat consumed, less ailments, less greenhouse gases, and improved animal welfare. No action has been taken on the German proposal, but like proposals to tax sugary drinks, the idea is likely to spread.