The Spanish fishing sector, represented by the Spanish Fisheries Federation (CEPESCA), appreciates the maintenance of fuel support in the sector announced after the Council of Ministers approved on Tuesday a package of measures to alleviate the costs resulting from the war in Ukraine.
However, the sector regrets that the government continues to consider fish as a non-staple food for the population and maintains the 10% tax rate.
Although the € 120 million package approved by the government for direct support has yet to be thoroughly studied, the sector appreciates the criteria of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and food (MAPA).
Following the package of measures announced last Tuesday, the sector regrets that the Spanish government has not taken advantage of the possibility of reducing the VAT currently levied on fish.
The sector reminds the government that virtually all countries of the European Union tax fresh fish with a reduced VAT rate compared to the general rate to favour its consumption due to its healthy properties. For example, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Malta do not charge VAT on fish. France taxes it at 5.5%, Luxembourg at 3%, Belgium at 6%, Cyprus, Hungary and Poland at 5%, Portugal at 6% and Germany at 5%.
According to the calculations of the sector, a reduction in the tax rate on fish from the current 10% to 4%, a historical desire of fishermen, would mean a decrease in VAT collection of less than 500 million, which would be offset by the decrease in the increase in health expenditure due to diseases related to poor nutrition.
On the other hand, Cepesca also appreciates the support announced on Tuesday by the Junta de Andalucía to compensate for the loss of profits due to the increase in fuel prices.