Saxony-Anhalt Greens: Reduce financial burdens on the agricultural sector

Over the next few weeks, many farmers across Germany will once again be protesting against the cuts. The federal budget wants to save 900 million euros in the agricultural sector by abolishing both the agricultural diesel tax refund and the tax exemption for agricultural and forestry vehicles without replacement. On January 4, there will be a video conference of all agriculture ministers with Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir.

Madeleine Linke, state chairwoman of Alliance 90/The Greens Saxony-Anhalt, explains:

“As the Greens of Saxony-Anhalt, we are calling on the federal government to withdraw these additional financial burdens on agriculture. Agriculture, which only accounts for around 0.9 percent of gross domestic product and 1.2 percent of the working population, is to make a disproportionately high contribution of 5.3 percent of the total savings of 17 billion euros in the federal budget. This is unfair, especially when other workers receive tax-free inflation bonuses.”

Linke continued: “The planned increase in the price of agricultural diesel comes too soon, as there are currently no practicable alternatives. Electrically powered heavy agricultural machinery such as tractors are not yet widely available. A higher cost burden on agricultural businesses would therefore neither lead to less diesel consumption nor have a positive effect on climate protection. If the vehicle tax exemption were to be abolished, a bureaucratic monster would be created because every trailer would be subject to tax and insurance.”

Dorothea Frederking, agricultural policy spokesperson for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group and spokesperson for the state working group on agriculture, believes the protests are justified: “However, we reject the forms of protest that involve drastic language and threats. We need a course correction as quickly as possible for the planned savings. We hope for a constructive solution at the virtual meeting of agriculture ministers on January 4. The abolition of the agricultural diesel refund exacerbates the existing competitive disadvantage of our agriculture compared to our neighboring European countries, which continue to benefit from cheaper diesel.”

Frederking continues: “Organic farms in particular often use agricultural vehicles for plowing and mechanical weed control. Organic farming would be excessively burdened. That is not in our interest.”

Linke concludes: “A solution to the conflict lies in a balanced, even reduction in environmentally harmful subsidies and tax breaks across all areas and economic sectors. There are a number of climate-damaging subsidies that can be cut quickly and effectively, such as the company car privilege.”

Position paper of the spokeswomen of the state working group for agriculture.