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Expensive groceries - top consumer advocate brings excess profit tax into play


Bread for seven euros, a kilo of tomatoes for ten: At such prices, is it still fair? Ramona Popp wants food industry profits to be investigated.

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Consumer advocate Pop: Also examine profits in the food industry

Photo: Britta Pedersen / dpa

Whether it's vegetables, bread or butter: groceries have become significantly more expensive in recent months.

But are the high prices justified or are food companies reaping fat profits in the slipstream of general inflation?

In any case, the chairwoman of the Federal Association of Consumer Advice Centers, Ramona Pop, has now brought up a so-called excess profit tax for the food industry as well.

"Whether and to what extent food companies and trade enrich themselves from the crisis will ultimately be shown by their profits, whether there are excess profits there too," Pop told the "Bild am Sonntag".

In the case of the energy companies, such crisis-related excess profits are "now rightly skimmed off at least in part and returned to the consumers," Pop explained.

»I think this is a good model that could also be transferred to other areas of the economy.

Healthy eating shouldn’t be a question of money.«

Significance of energy price increases

Companies in the oil, gas, coal and refinery industries, which are making billions in profits due to the consequences of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and rising energy prices, have to make an "energy crisis contribution" - limited to the 2022 and 2023 financial years Profits that exceed the average profit by 20 percent compared to previous years are taxed at 33 percent.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) does not want to talk about an “excess profit tax”, which he had long rejected.

However, the law says: "The EU energy crisis contribution is a tax within the meaning of the tax code." The measure should bring additional income of one billion to three billion euros.

Looking at the energy market, Pop noted that the January 1 surge in price hikes was "pretty big."

A striking number of energy suppliers have increased their tariffs so much that they are above the agreed price brakes.

“Then there is often the addition: Don’t worry, there will be support from the state from March.

I expect the Cartel Office to take strict action against black sheep on the energy market and abusive price increases.« She reported: »Last year we initiated 45 warning procedures against energy suppliers, which is 23 more than the year before.«


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2023-01-15

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