Eu plans plastic tax – will my water be more expensive now??

Eu plans plastic tax - will my water be more expensive now??

Many plastic products are likely to become more expensive in Europe soon: In the EU is very likely to be a new plastic tax introduced tax due on all non-recycled plastics. The talk is to collect the tax directly from plastic manufacturers, who would be allowed to pass the higher cost on to consumers. Environmentalists are pleased, business has massive concerns. The big winner, however, is the EU: Although the member states are supposed to collect the money, the billions in revenue will go directly into the EU budget Flow.

The new levy will be part of the negotiating mass for the future seven-year budget of the European Union. Shortly before a special EU summit on Thursday, Council President Charles Michel presented the plastic tax proposal as part of his new financial proposal. According to information from our editorial team, there is broad support among the member states for this idea at least: It would relieve them of the burden of their contributions to the EU coffers.

Plastic tax planned: EU Parliament is in favor

The EU Parliament is behind it anyway, budget experts in the Parliament are already firmly counting on the levy: "The introduction of a European plastic tax has already been priced in by the EU member states," said Green Party budget expert Rasmus Andresen to our editorial team. "It's right and good: the plastic tax is a good instrument to reduce plastic consumption."The head of the SPD group in the Parliament, Jens Geier, is also convinced: "The plastic tax will come."Also the responsible budget commissioner Johannes Hahn sees "substantial agreement" with the member states.

How would the tax work? Council President Michel relies on a proposal from the Commission, according to which the EU states would have to pay 80 cents to the EU for every kilo of plastic waste that is not recycled. According to Commission estimates, there would be four to eight billion euros annually Together. But Michel is also thinking of directing part of the revenue from European emissions trading into the EU coffers, which would mean billions more in inflows.

The idea of a plastic tax is older, but now it is supposed to solve a serious problem: There is a massive dispute among EU member states about the EU finances in the period 2021 to 2027. The Commission wants to permanently expand the annual spending volume by about ten percent, which would mean spending about 1.135 trillion euros for seven years together. The EU Parliament even demands an increase of the budget by almost one third.

Plastic tax to fill Brexit hole in EU budget

But because with Great Britain an important net contributor has left, other states fear high additional burdens. The Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark are putting on the brakes and demanding rebates. On the other hand, France, the southern countries and the eastern Europeans are campaigning for a more generous EU budget. Germany has positioned itself in the middle. A compromise proposal presented by Council President Michel on Friday apparently cannot resolve the conflict. A first row looms at Thursday's special summit. The big fight then looms in the final negotiations with the EU Parliament.

But SPD man Geier says: "Agreement on new own resources for the EU budget could be the silver bullet to solve the EU budget dispute."The EU would receive financial resources that do not depend on the cash situation of national finance ministers. "And it won't hurt the finance ministers because they won't have to forego existing revenues. If there were enough new own resources, member states' allocations could actually fall."

But there are also massive concerns: the Taxpayers' Association says a clear "No to an EU tax". This threatens to lose cost control by the member states, says Reiner Holznagel, president of the association, to our editorial team. "EU budget holders have to make do with the money they receive from their member states, such as Germany – this disciplining effect is right and important."

Voices on Brexit- So good! – Simply sad!

Plastic tax: German industry rejects idea

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) is also taking a counter-course: "The BDI clearly rejects the idea of a so-called plastic tax," BDI waste expert Claas Oehlmann tells our editorial team. "It is the wrong instrument and does not solve any budget problems of the EU either."Plastics are in many products, often those that are now needed for climate protection – from building insulation to wind turbines.

Taxation would also be counterproductive in terms of climate protection, fears BDI. Oehlmann considers taxation to be technically almost impossible to implement, sees a problem in the member states, which would have to levy the tax, but also warns of a data problem: "The national waste statistics are often not directly comparable, and some of the calculations are glossed over. You can't levy a tax on this basis."

In the federal government, there are partly similar concerns. Last year, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) came out clearly against such a tax. Customers would grumble and pay a few cents more at the checkout without this leading to a change in thinking. What is needed is not a new tax, but more intelligent control. Even now, Schulze's assessment of the tax is "very cautious," according to a statement from the ministry. There, too, reference is made to the uncertain data situation.

Plastic tax will not be the last new tax idea of the EU

In Brussels, however, it is expected that the German government will also agree in the end to bring movement into the budget dispute. The dispute over money is not over yet. Because for the Parliament, the plastic tax is only part of a larger package of new own resources, if only because of the relatively small revenue it will raise.

Andresen says: "For us Greens, it is clear that the plastic tax alone is not enough to provide the EU with sufficient new own resources. We are fighting in the negotiations to ensure that revenue from a new digital tax and the planned carbon border tax also goes into the EU budget. The negotiations on the medium-term financial framework are a chance for this, because in the large package new taxes for the EU are easier to push through than otherwise with individual advances."

SPD man Geier stresses that the EU Parliament has a clear position: "We expect more to happen on own resources – otherwise we won't vote for it. Many things are conceivable, such as a kerosene levy."But at the same time, Geier makes it clear that the EU will not have tax sovereignty in the future, the corresponding law must be ratified by the national parliaments. "So to talk about new EU taxes would be misleading," Geier says.

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