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More eager to work – and less taxes

It will get excited again.

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More eager to work – and less taxes

It will get excited again. And with a completely harmless and correct sentence: "We need more buck at work," said Steffen Kampeter, general manager of the Confederation of Employers' Associations, in an interview with the specialist information service "Table.Media". Shortly before the weekend, this sentence crashed like an ice-cold ax into the colorful fairy tale world of LinkedIn performers. Big excitement! More keen on work, really? The future is more work-life balance! Sabbaticals! Higher salaries! More work! Four instead of five working days per week!

But once the emoji-rich LinkedIn essay on mobile office and new work is finished, it's worth taking a sober look at the facts. In an OECD comparison, Germany is the country with the lowest average annual working time. A Polish employee works an average of 434 hours more per year. The average gross salary in Germany is 53,000 euros, which is higher than the OECD average of just under 49,000 euros.

Not only the LinkedIn user, but also the Green Party leader Ricarda Lang reacted with outrage to the Kampeter quote: what makes people want to work more is more wages and good working conditions. If only Lang knew someone in the federal government! Perhaps, during a joint brainstorming session, the idea would come up of simply giving people a little more of the money they have earned themselves.

Because what really inhibits “Bock auf Arbeit” is the burden of duties and taxes. It is cheeky that a single employee with a gross annual salary of EUR 44,074 (corresponds to the median salary in Germany) is being deprived of EUR 15,065 for taxes and social security contributions. Or to put it another way: Of the 3700 euros per month, only a little more than 2400 euros remain net.

In the same way, the desire to perform decreases when the state opens its hand so much when it comes to salary increases that hardly any of it ends up in the account. A policy that is constantly considering new tax increases is also not very motivating. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD), for example, currently finds it imaginative to increase the contribution rate for long-term care insurance – more so for childless people than for parents.

Nonsense regulations such as spouse splitting also make little desire to work. Because of the tax benefits, it is often not worthwhile for both spouses to work with children.

So more desire to work is not only created by higher salaries, but also by a policy that leaves more of the salary to the individual. It is, to use this popular term, simply lacking in solidarity that the state takes an above-average amount from the working population and offers them below-average little, such as hardly any digitized administrative services, poorly equipped schools, ramshackle bridges and run-down public transport.

The state requires people to manage well with little net from the gross. Something he obviously can't do himself. Otherwise taxes and duties would fall. And the desire to work will definitely increase.

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