New call: No VAT on vegetables, fruits

A group of 78 executives, scientists, doctors and organizations has again called on the Cabinet to scrap VAT on fruits and vegetables. This will enable people with low income to buy healthy food. This was stated in the call sent on Tuesday.

Signatories say half of adults and more than 15 percent of children are obese or overweight. That percentage is even higher among low-income earners. Abolition of VAT on fruits and vegetables is recommended to encourage this group especially to adopt a healthy lifestyle and diet. The director of GGD GHOR Netherlands, the entire Footvalley region, UNICEF Netherlands and various aldermen and scientists, have signed the call.

When the Rutte IV cabinet took office early last year, VAT abolition on fruit and vegetables from 2024 was included in the coalition agreement. Last week, SEO Economic Research sent a report to the House saying such repeal would be costly and legally complex. The health gain is also small.

PvdA alderman in Amsterdam, Marjolein Moorman, author of the appeal, disagrees. “VAT reductions on fruit and vegetables are effective, feasible and have social support,” he writes. “We call on the Cabinet to take an example from countries such as Spain, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.” He implemented the VAT reduction without any problems.

Sugar is very cheap

In twenty years, the prices of fruits and vegetables have risen by an average of 40 percent. Sugar prices fell by a fifth. More than half of low-income Dutch people say they often don’t have enough money to put healthy food on the table. The signatories expect the abolition of VAT to lead to lower healthcare costs: “The long-term health gains this translates into are greater happiness, lower healthcare costs for healthier people, higher labor force participation and lower disability.”

Ferdinand Woolridge

 "Subtly charming analyst. Beer maven. Future teen idol. Twitter guru. Lifelong bacon fan. Pop culture lover. Passionate social media evangelist."

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