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Parties want further reduced tax for gastronomy

Saxony's parliament stands on a grid at the back of the parliament building / Photo: Robert Michael/dpa-central-image/dpa
Saxony's parliament stands on a grid at the back of the parliament building / Photo: Robert Michael/dpa-central-image/dpa

Solid majority: All parties represented in the Saxon state parliament are in favor of a reduced VAT rate in the catering industry beyond 2023. After the Greens and the AfD, the CDU, SPD and Left also spoke out in favor on Thursday. "Already because of the general inflation, it would be wrong to raise the VAT again, especially since then also the food in daycare centers and schools will become even more expensive. We want to keep the reduced rate and completely eliminate VAT for basic foodstuffs," said Left Party leader Rico Gebhardt.

Till the end of the year, a reduced VAT rate of 7 percent applies nationwide for the consumption of food in restaurants and pubs. The scheme was part of the Corona crisis relief effort, but is now set to expire. "It is now time to permanently phase out this scheme so that we give the hospitality industry another chance at economic recovery after Corona and beyond. This is not done within twelve months," said CDU MP Jörg Marker. The price increases for energy, personnel and food would burden the gastronomy. However, the landlords can not always pass on all costs directly to the guests.

The SPD is in favor of extending the reduced VAT for the catering industry for three years, said party leader Kathrin Michel. In the countryside, pubs are often the only remaining meeting place. The tax legislation must be improved overall and simplified.

The Greens had already spoken out at the end of August for an extension of the regulation and proposed a Saxon Bundesrat initiative on it. "Energy prices, higher costs for products and services or the lack of personnel continue to pose challenges for the industry. But the issue also affects communal catering for daycare centers, schools or care facilities. With the lowered VAT rate, families can continue to be relieved," emphasized faction leader Franziska Schubert. In addition, it urged a fundamental reform of the value added tax.

The AfD parliamentary group had requested on Wednesday to reduce the value added tax on meals and beverages with catering service providers permanently to seven percent. The Saxon government was asked to make a strong case for this request in Berlin.

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