Soder calls for billions in tax cuts

Soder calls for billions in tax cuts

CSU leader markus soder wants to bring the union back on the offensive with a comprehensive concept for billions in tax cuts.

Specifically, he calls for a complete abolition of the solidarity surcharge, a reduction of five percentage points in the business tax, a reduction in the electricity tax for businesses and citizens alike, and tax incentives for a reduction in CO2 emissions. The CSU will soon present a comprehensive concept, soder announced on friday during a visit to vienna, and stressed: “it is time for more union.”It cannot be that week after week only “abstruse proposals” of the SPD have to be negated.

Soder did not yet want to name a specific amount of tax relief. It is already clear, however, that the total size of the entire package will amount to a powerful double-digit billion euro sum.

CDU chairwoman annegret kramp-karrenbauer told the suddeutsche zeitung: “we in the CDU/CSU are agreed: we need new dynamism for the economy and must ease the burden on companies so that prosperity and good jobs can also be secured in the future.”

The federal ministry of finance reacted skeptically to soder’s advance. A spokesman for finance minister olaf scholz (SPD) did not want to comment directly on this – but confirmed that the ministry would not participate in a tax “race to the bottom”. Germany is an attractive business location. The ministry of finance is making sure that germany has the right tax policy framework for international comparisons. He also referred to several reliefs, such as the planned tax research requirement for companies.

After a conversation with austrian chancellor sebastian kurz, soder praised the latter’s tax-cutting concept, which envisages reductions of more than six billion euros, as a signal for germany, too. The CSU leader calculated that the package would cost germany between 60 and 70 billion euros. That would seem to him therefore already a “political gross act”.

What is needed is “a corporate tax reform worthy of the name,” soder demanded. And a reduction of five percentage points would also make us more competitive again in international comparison.

In addition, germany is suffering from the high costs of energy and electricity. The bavarian minister-president emphasized: “we need a reduction in the electricity tax, not only for energy-intensive companies, but also for the citizens of bavaria.”

New taxes and levies on CO2 were strictly rejected by soder. “We are against CO2 pricing”, he emphasized. That could lead to germany getting a yellow vest movement like france, he warned. “This would be a new push for the afd in germany and for radical forces – and in the end it would not have the desired effect.” Moreover then “the country had to pay for the city”. Because while there are enough alternatives in the cities, the car will be needed in the country “at least for the foreseeable future.

Soder announced a counter-concept: instead of “punishments,” there should be incentives to reduce CO2 emissions. “A parking ticket in the city does not automatically lead to less wrong parking.” Incentives to save taxes have had a greater effect. As a conceivable example, he mentioned linking inheritance tax to the energy-efficient refurbishment of buildings: anyone who refurbishes buildings appropriately could be exempted from inheritance tax in whole or in part. This could “trigger a real boom” in energy-efficient renovations.

The CSU has long called for a complete dismantling of the soli. The grand coalition in the federal government, however, had only been able to agree on a partial cutback. But soder now argued: “we are firmly convinced that a partial dismantling of the soli is ultimately unconstitutional.”That’s why federal finance minister scholz must make a proposal on how the soli can actually be completely eliminated for everyone “and not just for some”.

After years of tax policy standstill, germany finally needs “a competition-oriented, location-oriented and performance-oriented tax policy,” soder warned. In an economic downturn, it is important to send signals to the business community. This is the only way to survive in international competition.

In addition to the comprehensive tax cut concept, soder also announced the CSU’s own strategies in energy policy and pension policy for the coming weeks and months. The latter is to be a topic at the party board meeting in munich on monday.


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