CEPESCA say they value the maintenance of fuel aid but regret that the government continues to not consider fish as a basic food for VAT

CEPESCA say they value the maintenance of fuel aid but regret that the government continues to not consider fish as a basic food for VAT

The fisheries sector values the maintenance of diesel aid and regrets that the government continues to not consider fish as a basic food

The Spanish fishing sector, represented by the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA), values ​​the maintenance of aid for fuels in the sector announced after the Council of Ministers that has approved a package of measures to alleviate the increase in prices due to the war conflict in Ukraine. 

However, the sector regrets that the Government continues to consider fish as a non-basic food for the population and consequently maintains its tax rate of 10%, “which -in their opinion- will not contribute to reversing the decrease of 25 % that has been produced in Spain in household consumption of fish and shellfish in the last 14 years”.

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Although the package of 120 million euros approved by the Government for direct aid has yet to be studied in depth, the sector values ​​the criteria of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) , since, as stated just a few days ago , Javier Garat, general secretary of Cepesca , was essential “so as not to drown a good part of the inshore and offshore fleet, severely punished by the increase in production costs, the cuts in the Mediterranean, the unilateral closure of 87 fishing areas background in the European waters of the northwest Atlantic, the reduction of quotas for some species, or the unfair competition exerted by fleets such as the Asian ones”.

After the package of measures announced, Cepesca says the sector regrets that the Government has not taken the opportunity offered by the situation of the increase in the cost of the shopping cart to reduce the VAT currently levied on fish since, in their opinion, it again drives consumers away from a substantial product in any balanced diet due to its quality and nutritional properties, in particular, in the Mediterranean and Atlantic “fish” diet .

The sector recalls that the decrease in the consumption of fish products has consequences in different aspects of health, such as the increase in pathologies related to poor nutrition, such as obesity, overweight and cardiovascular diseases – which generate an expense of 7,700 million euros per year to the National Health System and are the leading cause of mortality in our country–, and the progressive abandonment of the healthy Mediterranean diet. Cepesca claims that in this regard, the sector reminds the Government that practically all the countries of the European Union tax fresh fish with a reduced rate of VAT compared to the general rate to favour its consumption due to its properties. Thus, for example, in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Malta VAT is not applied to fish. France taxes it with 5.5%, Luxembourg with 3%, Belgium with 6%, Cyprus, Hungary and Poland with 5%, Portugal with 6% and Germany with 5%.

According to the calculations made by the sector, reducing the tax rate on fish from the current 10% to 4%, a historical demand of the fishermen, would mean a decrease in VAT collection of less than 500 million, which would be offset by the decrease in the increase health spending due to diseases related to poor diet.

On the other hand, Cepesca also appreciates the aid announced today by the Junta de Andalucía to compensate for lost profits due to the increase in fuel prices.

Source: Press Release

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