Poland wants a temporary VAT cut on foods

Mateusz Marek/PAP

Poland could gain permission from the European Commission (EC) to introduce a temporary zero-VAT rate on food items, the Polish agriculture minister said on Friday.

The Polish government wants to temporarily scrap VAT on food products such as meat, bread, milk, and vegetables, to soften the blow of inflation. However, as Henryk Kowalczyk explained, such a move must be agreed with the EC as VAT is a harmonised tax within the EU.

"I think that there is a chance (to lower VAT – PAP) as food prices are rising in the whole of the EU," Kowalczyk told RMF Radio. "As a result, the EC should reflect on this and allow the reduction."

On the same day, Tadeusz Kościński, the Polish finance minister, said on Polish Radio 3 that Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, is going to "fight" for the EC’s approval next week.

He added that an EU directive allowing a six-month reduction in the VAT rate on food will enter into force in two to three years.