The gradual chipping away at our massive environmental problem continues with Sweden coming in with a great idea. They are now going to give tax breaks to people who actually fix things, rather than just throw them away.
The Swedish government is introducing tax breaks on repairs to everything from bicycles to washing machines so it will no longer make sense to throw out old or broken items and buy new ones.
Sweden’s ruling Social Democrat and Green party coalition is set to submit proposals to parliament on Tuesday to slash the VAT rate on repairs to bicycles, clothes and shoes from 25% to 12%.
It will also submit a proposal that would allow people to claim back from income tax half of the labour cost on repairs to appliances such as fridges, ovens, dishwashers and washing machines.
He hopes the tax break on appliances will spur the creation of a new home-repairs service industry, providing much-needed jobs for new immigrants who lack formal education.
For decades, Italy has had tax breaks for people who make artisinal things, in an effort to not lose the craftsmanship that made Italy famous for so long in the face of giant chain stores. But tax breaks for fixing things? That’s genius.
The constant throwing away of perfectly good things has always rubbed me the wrong way. If this law will actually put a dent in that, and create jobs? I am all for it, and I hope that other countries will do the same. After all, laws banning supermarkets from throwing away food, rather making them donate it has spread across many countries in Europe too, let’s hope this one does the same.