For the climate: reduction in value-added tax on train tickets moves closer

Rail customers can hope for cheaper long-distance tickets. In the political debate on climate protection, a broad consensus is emerging in favor of lowering the value-added tax on train journeys.

Vice chairman of the union’s parliamentary group andreas jung called on the railroad to pass on the cost savings in full to customers. Such a reduction "must be reflected in tickets," jung told the deutsche presse-agentur. The hope is that cheaper prices will encourage more people to switch from cars and planes to rail travel.

Railroad boss richard lutz had made it clear that relief – for example through a lower value-added tax – could not only be reflected in ticket prices, but also in "new attractive offers" or "further investments in our vehicle fleet". This could mean that tickets would not become cheaper at the same time as the railroad would be relieved financially.

Strengthening the railroads plays a key role in the debate on more climate protection. On 20. On september, the federal government’s climate cabinet will decide on an overall package, which, as things stand, should include a price on CO2 emissions. This will make gasoline, heating oil and natural gas more expensive, in order to demand carbon dioxide (CO2) savings in the transport and construction sectors. Burger should be relieved in return. For the 20. In september, the fridays for the future movement concluded its conference in dortmund by calling on the public to take part in climate protection demonstrations.

Bavaria’s minister president markus soder said in an ARD summer interview on sunday: "we have to make decisions, and we can’t just talk endlessly about it."On the one hand, it is a matter of advancing research and innovations for clean technologies – for example, alternative drive technologies for vehicles or storage technologies for the energy transition. On the other hand, the aim is to reduce CO2 emissions. The cuts had to benefit the climate and trim the economy.

At the same time, the CSU leader warned against dividing society: "we can’t simply raise prices for those who can afford it and others who will be left out in the cold."There must be a coherent concept for all citizens in the country.

Soder had already called for rail tickets to be exempted from value-added tax as far as possible. Finance minister olaf scholz (SPD) also advocated a reduction in the value-added tax on rail travel.

Transport politicians from the coalition factions buried this over the weekend. CSU politician daniela ludwig told the FAS: "i am in favor of a tax cut as soon as possible. Why not already at the end of the year?"SPD transport politician kirsten luhmann said that easing the burden on the railroads had long been the SPD’s declared goal. "If the union agrees with this goal, that is more than gratifying, and we can immediately start working together on a common path for appropriate measures."

At the request of the greens, the bundestag is to vote on a reduced value-added tax on long-distance rail tickets soon after the summer break. The parliamentary group submitted a corresponding bill, as reported by the "frankfurter allgemeine sonntagszeitung" newspaper. The draft was made available to dpa.

This proposal provides for a reduction in value-added tax on long-distance travel from 19 to 7 percent. For local transport, the following sentence already applies. He added that the federal government should ensure that 100 percent of the tax cuts are passed on to rail customers. The group estimates the loss of revenue for public budgets at up to 400 million euros. The chairman of the transport committee, cem ozdemir, told the newspaper that it now remains to be seen whether the union parties will follow up their announcements with action.

CDU politician jung also called for a massive expansion of local public transport to make commuting more climate-friendly. He called for a network of rail, bus and shared cab services that would provide a real alternative in rural areas. For this, one could use funds from a higher ticket levy for flights. Jung also spoke out in favor of restructuring the system of taxes, levies, charges and fees in the energy sector and gearing it consistently to CO2 emissions.

CSU party leader alexander dobrindt told "welt" (saturday) that the party wants to combine the climate package with an economic stimulus package to create a "future package for germany" in the face of weaker growth momentum. According to the report, the CSU wants to ease the burden on employees and is aiming for corporate tax reform. She also wants to invest billions in infrastructure, digitization, and climate innovation and investment.

Meanwhile, federal research minister anja karliczek (CDU) joined calls for fewer domestic flights by politicians. It won’t be possible to avoid every flight in the future, because many people, including politicians, have very tight schedules," the CDU politician told the deutsche presse-agentur. "However, everyone has to think about when he or she can personally do something for a good future."The best CO2 saving is achieved by a trip that does not have to take place.

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