As the CDU / CSU is refining its electoral platform, business representatives are closely following every sentence uttered by party leaders. More recently, for example, they have been relieved to find that Armin Laschet appears determined to end the impasse on tax policy. “During the crisis, we have done a lot to secure corporate liquidity. It is absurd to withdraw cash by raising taxes after the crisis,” CDU chairman told German Family Business Day. The candidate for chancellor of the CDU / CSU spoke on Friday of the cap on corporate tax at 25%, the widening of compensation for losses and the improvement of depreciation conditions.
Laschet has thus given a first indication of where the journey will lead. The CDU and CSU are obviously going in the same direction when it comes to drawing up the electoral program – at least when it comes to lightening the burden on companies: CSU leader Markus Söder also mentioned the 25% during the same event. In addition, both rejected a higher income tax. The wealth tax would not be revived with them either. In the auditorium, such statements went well. “Germany is lagging far behind when it comes to tax competition,” Rainer Kirchdörfer, president of the Family Business and Politics Foundation, told FAZ. “It is encouraging that the CDU / CSU candidate for chancellor sees the need for reform and wants to tackle things.”
Next Monday, the CDU and CSU plan to present their joint electoral platform. In addition to the presidents’ announcements, a variety of draft documents are now circulating – although it is not entirely clear which of the points will ultimately be included in the official version of the program. Some text modules appear as clear announcements, at least in Ton. For example, on the subject of income tax: “We will gradually eliminate the solidarity surcharge for all as quickly as possible. However, the CDU / CSU had already planned to remove the solidarity surcharge before the 2017 elections. However, it could not prevail against the SPD. Other points in terms of tax policy concern the employee package, which according to one of the newspapers must amount to 1,250 euros per year. A reform of the income tax rate is also envisaged. It has to be “stretched,” he says. To this end, the amount at which the marginal tax rate of 42% becomes due will increase significantly. This would prevent even skilled workers with slightly above-average incomes from being taxed high.
In addition, the documents include – as they did four years ago – a pledge to supplement the marital separation system with a system of “real family splitting”. “It raises the child allowance to the adult level,” he said in explanation – and with a warning in brackets: “financially efficient”. This note is appended to a large number of elements of the preliminary documents. This is the case, for example, with the project to extend the family allowance for construction and to introduce new amounts exempt from property transfer tax (250,000 per adult plus 100,000 euros per child). commitment to the debt brake. “Our goal is to increase the flexibility of our children and grandchildren instead of imposing debts and therefore burdens on them.” He is not only opposed to changes to the basic law that would make debt easier. The CDU also wants to return to a balanced budget “as soon as possible”. We do not know how to achieve this without, in return, increasing social contributions well beyond 40% of gross salary. After all, the main social security funds – pension, health and long-term care insurance – are already heading towards sharply rising contribution rates and deficits. At the same time, social policy experts at the CDU / CSU want to further expand social benefits, while savings proposals are scarce. Laschet himself has indicated that he does not want to talk about a higher retirement age during the election campaign.
In the drafts there are statements about pensions which are veiled with clauses: in the future, an “advisory board on old age security” is to set “dividing lines” for the contribution rate and the pace. increase in pensions. This was the recommendation of a government-mandated commission in 2020. According to its report, however, the new advisory council is also due to submit a proposal on the further development of the age limit in 2026. However, this aspect does not. is precisely not mentioned. in the text modules on the Union’s draft social policy. On the other hand, Laschet openly opposed this weekend to the demands of the CSU to again extend the maternity pension. It had already been expanded in 2014 and 2018 – at a total cost of around 10 billion euros per year.
According to the projects, the CDU / CSU wants to reconcile economy and ecology. Climate protection should not overburden consumers and businesses. Unlike the Greens, the CDU / CSU supports “incentives instead of bans.” The CDU / CSU is committed to achieving CO-2 neutrality by 2045, and the national emissions trading system must be integrated into the European system and extended to transport and buildings. In the long run, there must be world trade. CO-2 tax should be used to remove the EEG surcharge and reduce the electricity tax. To prevent production from migrating, there should be an adjustment at the CO-2 border in Europe. It is also important to exploit the possibilities of CO2 storage. Investments in climate protection and energy efficiency should be facilitated and more strongly encouraged. The Union wants to develop eco-energy more quickly, for example by designating priority areas along In addition to electric cars, synthetic fuels are also being considered for heavy transport. In the future, charging stations will be installed in all new commercial and public buildings. For long distance traffic, rs fast charging should be available within ten minutes.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema