Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter has called for the VAT on fruits and vegetables produce to be scrapped after her party, the Flemish Greens (Groen), estimated that the price of fruits and vegetables has risen by 20% in the last year, due to the energy crisis. De Sutter made the comments during a visit to the Flemish municipality of Ninove.
Echoing a proposal put forward in parliament last year by her party colleague Barbara Creemers, Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter has once again called to repeal the 6% VAT rate on fruits and vegetables.
This comes after the minister's visit to a community grocery store in Ninove, where she explained that "the war in Ukraine and rising energy, transport and wage costs have led to the price of our shopping cart to increase."
Furthermore, her Groen party had recently calculated that the price of produce is 20% higher than last year. This has impacted groceries, such as the one in Ninove, which attempt to offer quality and basic food products for those in need.
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As a result, she has called for a zero VAT rate to be applied on fruit and vegetables as "the cheapest food is now not necessarily the healthiest" despite "skimping on the cost of food and opting for cheaper products being a dire necessity for many."
Any changes to the present VAT rates, however, must be approved by the Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem, who seemed open to the idea in October of last year.