05 Aug 2019, 13:17
Julian Wettengel

Conservatives debate speedy reduction of VAT on train tickets, Greens present law draft

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung / Clean Energy Wire

Politicians from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance are debating the speedy reduction of the value added tax (VAT) on train tickets to promote rail transport in an effort to reach climate targets, report Frank Pergande and Ralph Bollmann in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS). “I support a tax reduction as fast as possible. Why not by the end of the year,” Daniela Ludwig (CSU), transport spokesperson of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, told the newspaper. CDU colleague Andreas Jung – one of the parliamentarians working on the group’s very own climate action plan – said such a reduction could be implemented immediately “if there is the political will”. Coalition partner SPD has also signalled support for such a measure, writes FAS.
The Green Party, meanwhile, has presented a draft law to reduce the VAT on long-distance train tickets from 19 to 7 percent. The current rate “does not do justice to the environmental challenges of our time, especially the fight against the global climate crisis”, the Greens write in the draft.

The Green Party has previously called for lower taxes on train tickets and higher prices for domestic flights to promote more climate-friendly transport. Should the VAT for long-distance train rides be reduced to 7 percent, the state, which owns German rail company Deutsche Bahn, would lose about 400 million euros in revenues, writes FAS.

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