The sectors that make up the agri-food chain have welcomed the aid announced by the Government to reduce and even abolish VAT on some foods, but have criticized that these measures do not also apply to products such as meat and fish.
The royal decree law approved by the Council of Ministers provides for the abolition of VAT on basic necessities, which is currently 4%, and a reduction in VAT from the current 10 to 5% for oils and pastes.
The temporary abolition of VAT, which will enter into force on January 1 and will last for six months, affects basic necessities such as bread, flour, milk, cheese, eggs, fruits, vegetables, vegetables, legumes, potatoes and cereals, products that in some cases accumulate annual increases of more than 30%.
The measures also include a check of 200 euros for vulnerable families, with up to 27,000 euros of annual income, with the aim of reaching 4.2 million households.
The agricultural organizations Asaja, COAG and UPA have described the VAT reductions as positive because they will make products more accessible to people, especially the most vulnerable, and will benefit consumption.
UPA, however, has missed that meat and fish are not included in this list, as it considers that they are also essential products.
The egg production and industrial sector, represented by the interprofessional Inprovo, has also welcomed the abolition of VAT on this product so that many more families can check it at a “more affordable” price, as expressed by the director of this organization, Mar Fernández.
Milk producers have thanked this decrease, although they have expressed their fear that this decrease “falls by the wayside” and does not reach the consumer or that, directly, it will be transferred to the farmer, according to the director of the Agaprol producers organization, Francisco Fernández.
From the fruit and vegetable federation Fepex, its director, José María Pozancos, has described as “very positive” that during six months the VAT on fruits, vegetables and vegetables is eliminated because he considers that it is a measure that will facilitate access to these products, with consumption in free fall.
The oil sector has expressed its support for the temporary reduction of VAT from 10 to 5%, although it has pointed out that it would have preferred it to have remained at 0%.
This has been expressed by both the president of the Interprofessional organization of Spanish Olive Oil, Pedro Barato, who has indicated that the abolition of VAT would have been “the appropriate and consistent”, and the director of the National Association of Industrialists Packers and Refiners of Edible Oils (Anierac).
The fish and meat producing and industrial sectors have put the counterpoint, being excluded from the VAT rebates.
Thus, the director of the National Federation of Fish Retailers (Fedepesca), María Luisa Álvarez, has expressed her “perplexity and disappointment” and the shipowners’ association Cepesca and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (FNCP) have said that it is a ”pity” that the VAT on seafood products remains at 10%.
For his part, the deputy to the management of the Business Federation of Meat and Meat Industries (Fecic), Ignasi Pons, regretted that meat has not benefited from the VAT reductions and deletions because he considers that it is an “irreplaceable and essential” food.
The food industry and the employers of distribution and mass consumption have valued the abolition and reduction of VAT announced and the direct aid for households because they believe that they “alleviate” the situation of consumers.
The Spanish Federation of Food and Beverage Industries (FIAB) and the large consumer employers’ association (Aecoc) and those representing the distribution chains (ACES, Anged and Asedas) have also regretted that basic products such as fish, yoghurts or meat have not been included.