After the billions in relief packages for citizens in the context of the energy crisis, a discussion broke out in the traffic light coalition about counter-financing that could burden the alliance. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil announced a debate on tax justice and the financing of combating the crisis for 2023. "As the SPD, we will be very clear about the discussions about fair distribution in the coming year," Klingbeil told BILD am SONNTAG. The party chairman is aiming for a heavier burden on the wealthy: "The SPD basically wants those who have a lot to do more to finance the common good."
The deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Achim Post, told WELT that Klingbeil was right when he pointed out the need for a fair distribution of the burden of the crisis. “This is one of the most elementary justice tasks that lie ahead of us.” The German Council of Economic Experts recently made a similar proposal.
In their annual report, the economists had suggested partially counter-financing the energy packages with a “strictly limited increase in the top tax rate or an energy solidarity surcharge for higher earners”.
The Greens agree with the proposals. “The really high unequal distribution in Germany in an international comparison poses substantial dangers for democratic cohesion,” said the financial policy spokeswoman for the parliamentary group, Katharina Beck, WELT. "That's why, especially in the current crisis, we have to seriously consider the proposals of the German Council of Economic Experts to have strong shoulders contribute more to the financing of the costs of the crisis."
The FDP, on the other hand, protested. "We have to stay on the path of relief," said parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr WELT. With the Inflation Compensation Act, a first important step towards more tax justice has been taken - across society. "This is a path that we must continue together," said Dürr. In this sense, one can gladly discuss tax policy. However, charges are excluded. "It would be a slap in the face for small and medium-sized businesses if every economic recovery were to be choked off immediately after the crises," said Dürr. “Companies create jobs and wealth. We should therefore do everything we can to reduce the burden on the economy as well.”
Harsh criticism also came from the opposition. "Lars Klingbeil is obviously not clear about the drama of the situation," said Mathias Middelberg (CDU), deputy chairman of the parliamentary group for medium-sized businesses. “We are in one of the biggest crises since World War II. Our economy is headed for a downturn. Higher taxes would be poison for our companies and would massively endanger our jobs.” The topic now should be relief, not new burdens.
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck speaks of a "fire wall against high price increases" now that the cabinet has decided on electricity and gas price brakes. But now the suspicion is being raised that energy companies could enrich themselves with these brakes of all things.
Source: WORLD / Marco Reinke
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