FNLI calls on Dutch government to exempt entrepreneurs from gas tax

Dutch food manufacturers fear additional levies and huge tax increase on gas if the cabinet plans go ahead.

A provisional playing field test carried out at various types of food companies shows that taxes and levies for food manufacturers will increase by hundreds of percent. In some cases, this can even rise to 700% compared to 2019. This is a measure that will have an adverse effect on the sustainability of industry. On the eve of the parliamentary debate on the government’s extra climate package, the FNLI is calling on the parliament to exempt entrepreneurs who cannot switch to electricity because the infrastructure is not in order from the increase in the tax on gas, and to make the effect test transparent.

Director of FNLI Cees-Jan Adema said members are not the problem – they are ready to become more sustainable, “but it is almost impossible to switch from gas to electricity anywhere in the Netherlands due to the overloaded power grid”.

“Gas costs will increase by more than a billion euros in the coming years,” Adema noted. “The research we commissioned shows that this has a significant impact on many companies. While companies will have to wait years for a connection to the electricity grid, the investment scope for sustainability will become increasingly smaller at those companies due to enormous tax increases. Exactly the opposite of the goal of this cabinet’s climate package and the ambition of the sector.”

The preliminary research results of the playing field test provided the following picture of the percentage increase in costs of climate taxes and levies in the period 2019-2030:

  • A bread bakery and large energy consumer has a cost increase of 454%
  • A brewery and medium-sized consumer of energy has a cost increase of 305%
  • For a dairy company and large consumer of energy, this involves a cost increase of 687%

The playing field test examined a selection of average companies in the food industry to provide an initial picture of the actual impact of the proposed measures in the climate policy of the current government. According to the FNLI, the sector is still struggling with high energy prices and higher raw material prices. While the cabinet tried to help the sector with this last autumn with the TEK (Energy Costs Allowance for energy-intensive SMEs), the feeling in the sector is that it will still be presented with a hefty bill – meaning higher prices or perhaps even production that becomes unprofitable.

The researchers will publish the final study in two weeks.

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