The SPD politician Manuela Schwesig has criticized the federal government’s aim to end tax breaks for farmers. “We need strong agriculture, also so that prices remain stable. The cuts for agriculture go too far and come too suddenly,” said the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Stern. “A sensible solution has to be found.”
Criticism of the traffic light plans continues to come from other countries too. NRW Agriculture Minister Silke Gorißen described it as a “low blow for our farmers”. With this decision, the federal government is creating further disadvantages for companies in international competition, the CDU politician wrote in a letter to members of parliament, according to the State Chancellery. Rhineland-Palatinate Agriculture Minister Daniela Schmitt also criticized the announced reduction in subsidies. This is hitting the agricultural sector with great force, said the FDP politician on Deutschlandfunk.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure that this cannot happen,” says the Federal Minister of Agriculture
The anger was triggered by savings plans for the 2024 federal budget, which became known after an agreement between Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). Agriculture is affected in two ways: the regulation that allows companies to partially refund the energy tax for diesel is to be abolished – with a discount of 21.48 cents per liter, which is almost half of the total of around 47 cents with which diesel fuel is taxed becomes. And the fact that agricultural and forestry vehicles are exempt from vehicle tax should also be eliminated.
In Berlin on Monday, thousands of farmers protested with a long column of tractors. Farmers President Joachim Rukwied called on the traffic light coalition to withdraw savings plans. Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) expressed understanding for the farmers’ discontent and announced further discussions in the government. The Green Minister explained at the rally: “The cuts we are making are overwhelming the sector.” And: “I will do everything in my power to ensure that this cannot happen.” The FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag had already announced a veto at the weekend.