GREEN AND SOCIAL DEMOCRAT (SDP) politicians in Germany have mooted the idea of raising VAT on meat products from its discounted rate of 7% to the full 19%.

The idea is to curtail the consumption of low-cost meat, which the party argued would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SPD agriculture spokesman Rainer Spiering said “there are discount stores in Germany selling 500g of mince for €2.50, and if the VAT rate goes up by 12 percentage points they will charge €2.80 – I think that is acceptable”.

But minister Julia Klockner, a member of the Christian Democrat (CDU) party, objected, suggesting lower meat sales would hurt farmer incomes.

The SPD is in government with the CDU, and green politicians made big gains in the May EU elections.