How Sweden wants to make repairing things cheaper

Sweden’s government wants to give people tax breaks on repairing everything from shoes to washing machines as part of a new green drive to help the environment by making the country less wasteful.

Have you ever been upset about a product being designed to fail with no chance of repairing it?

The proposal by the ruling Swedish Social Democrat and Green parties is to slash value added taxes on repairs to bicycles, clothes, and shoes, and to bring in a new tax break for people who carry out more expensive repairs to fridges, dishwashers and washing machine.

“From my point of view, it’s not necessarily about consuming less, but more looking at what we consume and how.”

The government estimates that the tax breaks for repairing white goods will cost 190m Swedish kronor a year, while  the reduction in VAT for reparations of cycles, clothes and shoes would come to 270m kronor a year. On the other hand, the new chemicals tax is expected to raise about two billion kronor a year.