The German Mehrwertsteuer (MwSt) is what the British call Value Added Tax (VAT). The Australians I think call it a Goods and Services Tax (GST) and in the States we just call it a plain old Sales Tax.
In Germany this tax comes in two flavors: 19 % for most things and a reduced rate of 7 % for things that are deemed to be necessities or particularly worthy of support, like food, books, newspapers, magazines, flowers, dog food and tickets for public transport up to 50 km. Lobbyists for various industries are constantly at work in the Bundestag (parliament) trying to convince elected representatives that their particular product should be taxed at the reduced rate.
This poster in Berlin-Charlottenburg is protesting the fact that chairlifts in ski resorts are taxed at the reduced rate of 7 %, whereas children’s car seats and playground equipment are taxed at the full rate of 19 %. Perhaps the German government wants people to go skiing but not have children?
My photo in this post is from 2009. I revised the text in 2019.
See more posts on Berlin, Germany.