The Swedish government is unveiling an intriguing plan to discourage throwaway culture. The new proposals would slash the VAT tax rate on repairs to bicycles, clothes, and shoes by half in order to encourage consumers to reuse their old items rather than simply replacing them. The law would also allow residents to claim back income taxes on the cost of repairs to large appliances such as ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines.
The tax breaks are the work of Sweden’s ruling Social Democrat and Green party coalition. The VAT cuts are expected to not only reduce the cost of repairs, but to also help stimulate the repair industry within the country. Officials are hoping the development of a new home-repairs service industry will help provide jobs for immigrants lacking a formal education.
The incentives are part of a wider effort in Sweden to reduce carbon emissions, and cutting the amount of new household goods produced will go a long way toward that goal. The proposals will be presented before Sweden’s parliament as part of the government’s budget, where lawmakers will vote on whether to approve the measure. If passed, the new law would go into effect at the start of 2017.
Via The Guardian