Things are moving fast for repair in Austria!
In the last few months, the governing coalition has agreed on a reduction of VAT on “small repairs” for bikes, clothing and shoes.
Concretely, VAT for these types of repairs will be reduced from 20% to 10%, making it more financially appealing to fix these products rather than throwing them away and buying new ones. The “tax relief for small repair services and the sale of repaired products” as it is called was already included in the government programme (published in January 2020). The next step will be to transform it into legislation.
Meanwhile, several Austrian federal states (Styria, Upper Austria, Lower Austria and Salzburg) as well as the city of Graz have implemented a “repair bonus” which has proven to be a big success. This bonus funds up to 50% of the total cost of a repair, up to a maximum of €100. This only applies to large and small electrical appliances from commercial establishments. Consumers must apply to be reimbursed once the repair is done and an invoice has been paid.
In Vienna, the local government just approved a €1.6 million repair funding programme for 2020 to 2023 in collaboration with Repair Network Vienna, RepaNet and the Austrian Institute of Ecology.
As of the 21st of September, it will be possible for consumers to register on a city website, download a voucher and use it directly at one of the member organisations of the Repair Network Vienna participating in the funding programme.
Similarly to other regions, the programme will fund 50% of the cost of a repair up to a maximum of €100. If a repair is not possible, 100% of the estimated costs, up to €45, will be covered.
This initiative applies to all products needing fixing, regardless of the residence of the consumer. The only criteria for organisations to be involved in the repair network are that 50% of their workforce must be repairers and that they provide repairs for a wide range of brands.
This set of financial incentives and tax breaks shows that repair is on top of the political agenda in Austria and that right to repair legislation can take many forms to make repair mainstream and accessible.
We know there’s plenty of similar initiatives happening across Europe. Are you aware of local proposed legislation or initiative to promote repair? Leave a comment or email us!
Image credits: “Calculator with money and coins in front of flag of Austria” by focusonmore.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0.