News about the repair bonus and call for petition
The value-added tax on repairs is to be reduced from 20% to 10% from the fall. This government measure is a step in the right direction in terms of climate protection but unfortunately not more; not least because electrical and household appliances are excluded from the measure and because "repair bonus" should actually mean more.
"Minister Gewessler cleverly mixes two demands of the repair industry and acts as if both would be met," criticizes Peter Kolba, chairman of the consumer protection association, via press-release and further: "The lowering of the value added tax promotes small repairs, but by repair bonus the enterprises concerned mean more: If one would promote, for example, the repair costs with 50% and the customers would have to pay only half of the previous price, then that would be a much stronger incentive in practice devices of everyday life not to dispose of, but to repair. "
So it remains to be hoped that in the "possible further measures to promote repair services" announced by the Greens, improvements will also be made for repair in general, including e-appliances. This would make it possible to achieve significantly more resource- and climate-friendly effects: "If washing machines, notebooks, vacuum cleaners and smartphones were used one year longer in the EU, that would save 4 million CO2 - that's the same as 2 million fewer cars on the roads," says Markus Piringer of the repair network on Ö1 and furthermore calls for new production standards as far as the reparability of devices is concerned..
It is nothing short of a miracle that the Chamber of Commerce is now also targeting an expansion of repair subsidies via press release. A direct subsidy for repair services is also on the agenda, as is the amendment of the currently applicable EU VAT Directive in favor of the possibility of tax relief for electrical and household appliances, because: "Most consumers are disappointed and have little understanding for the fact that the tax repair bonus should not apply to household and kitchen appliances, consumer electronics or electrical tools."
Call for parliamentary petition
We need durable and repair-friendly products instead of a tripling of the global consumption of raw materials since the 1970s. Highly qualified jobs in the Austrian repair trade are becoming fewer and fewer.
Between 2005 and 2015 alone, more than 600 skilled workers lost their jobs. As a result, valuable knowledge is disappearing and trainees are finding fewer and fewer attractive apprenticeships. Far too many Austrian small and medium-sized repair businesses have now had to close down or even go bankrupt in the face of competition from global exploitation of raw materials at dumping prices and outrageously low wage costs in emerging countries. On page 173 of the current government program, there is a clear commitment to promoting durable, repairable and recyclable products.
That's why we demand:
- An Austria-wide repair subsidy, as is already the case in the provincial capital of Graz at the municipal level and in Sweden even at the national level.
- The commercial sale of legally compliant reconditioned used equipment with warranty.
Here you can sign the petition online.