Picks and pans from the INDEX: Design To Improve Life Competition

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tax break repairs
credit: Tax break for repairs via INDEX

Tax Breaks for Repairs

If there were any justice in the world this kind of idea would get an award. Just being shortlisted is a prize. It's not a thing, It's not a grand idea, it's not going to make a huge difference in the world, but it is the kind of thinking that should be honored. So little attention is paid to the carbon footprint of making new stuff (and disposing of old stuff) that might be offset by this crazy little idea.

The Swedish government is therefore introducing tax breaks on repairs, un-incentivizing throwing out old or broken items and buying new ones. It will also submit a proposal that will allow people to claim back from income tax half of the labor cost on repairs to appliances such as fridges, ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines. On bikes and clothes, specifically, VAT has been reduced from 25% to 12%, and on white goods consumers can claim back income tax due on the person doing the work... Hopes are, that 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. The incentives are part of a shift in government focus from reducing carbon emissions produced domestically to reducing emissions tied to goods produced elsewhere.

I love it, but it is probably too off the wall to win. More at INDEX: Design To Improve Life

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