If you search for the word “tax” on the 68 pages of the draft of the FDP election program, you get 118 hits.

On average, the word appears twice on each page: for example in taxation, tax burdens, tax system, tax allowance or income tax rate.

The word does not appear so prominently in the draft programs of other possible government parties that have already been submitted.

With the SPD there are just 55 hits on 85 pages, with the Greens 81 hits on 137 pages.

So far, only the Left Party has had a hit-to-page ratio similar to that of the FDP: the computer spits out 191 hits on 148 pages.

It hardly needs to be mentioned separately that the FDP and the Left associate different content with the word “tax”.

One reads nothing about the property levy, property tax and redistribution of wealth among the liberals.

On the other hand, one of the first headings is: "Relief and fair taxes".

The draft was presented by the FDP executive committee at the beginning of the week and is to be adopted at the federal party conference in mid-May.


Germany is among the best in the world when it comes to taxes and social security contributions, it says on page 7. “We are calling for a fundamental rethink in tax policy: We want to noticeably relieve the burden on citizens and thus also provide impetus for the economic recovery of our country and the state must be restored without giving up serious budgetary policy.

Relieve small and medium incomes

The SPD, the Greens and the Left Party also want to relieve small and medium incomes, but no party is as radical as the FDP.

Instead of the belly of small and medium-sized businesses, through which the tax burden of the broad middle class rises particularly quickly with every additional euro, the so-called “opportunity tariff” is to be introduced in three steps between 2022 and 2024.

According to the party's plans, the top tax rate will only apply from an income of 90,000 euros.

The draft refers to the fact that taxpayers who receive 1.4 times the average gross salary of all employees in Germany now pay the top tax rate on part of their income.

In 1965 this value was still 18 times as high.

An average earner should not almost pay the highest tax rate.

Source: WORLD infographic


What that means in euros for citizens is shown by initial calculations by the tax experts at the Institute of German Economy (IW) for WELT.

You compared the proposals for a reform of the income tax tariff of the FDP with the previously known models of the SPD, Greens and Left.

It must be said that the figures are only approximate, as not all details of all models are known yet.

But it is already clear: Only the FDP is planning to relieve all income groups and household constellations.

According to the FDP concept, a single with a gross annual salary of 25,000 euros would have to pay 592 euros less tax than before in the year, at 50,000 euros it is 2,484 euros less, at 80,000 euros already 5199 euros and at 150,000 euros even 6,129 euros.

According to IW sample calculations, the relief for married couples is between EUR 1274 (EUR 50,000 annual income) and EUR 10,602 (EUR 150,000).

"The relief for taxpayers is consistently higher than the proposals of the other parties, except for singles and single parents with low incomes, who would benefit more from the planned relief for the left," says IW economist and distribution expert Martin Beznoska.


The difference is huge, especially with very high incomes.

For singles with an annual income of 150,000 euros, the proposals of the other parties provide for an additional burden of between 998 euros (Greens), over 1940 euros (SPD) up to 7724 euros (Leftists) instead of a relief of 6,129 euros.

Source: WORLD infographic

And the delta will be even bigger if the FDP should fully enforce its tax proposals in future coalition negotiations.

Unlike the three aforementioned comparison parties, the Liberals also want the solidarity surcharge, which is still relevant for high and very high incomes, to be completely eliminated - this elimination has not yet been taken into account in the IW calculations.

When it comes to the implementation of the tax plans, the crucial question is whether they can be financed at all.

In contrast to the parties that are further left in the political spectrum, the FDP not only rejects higher top and wealthy tax rates, but also a “further tightening of inheritance tax”, according to the draft program presented.

For Christian Dürr, the party's deputy parliamentary group leader, there is no way around broad discharge.

The state alone cannot provide the strong growth necessary to cope with the current economic crisis.

“That's why we finally have to relieve citizens and businesses,” he says.

If there is more left over at the end of the month, the financial leeway for purchases and investments is greater.

As a result, the state will also benefit from higher tax revenues.

Source: WORLD infographic

One can also imagine that at least part of the revenue that the state is losing through the restructuring of the income tax tariff will flow back through a positive growth effect in the medium term.

But first of all it costs: "The tax revenue would initially fall with the tariff proposal of the FDP by up to 60 billion euros per year," says Beznoska.

The FDP also knows that the comprehensive relief plans will initially cost the state budget more money - money that is currently not there.

With a view to financial feasibility, one advocates the three steps over three years and a kind of “start-up financing” from the federal budget is required, according to the party, before the expected stronger growth sets in.


The party had already made suggestions in the past as to where the money for such start-up funding should come from.

The FDP is happy to refer to a necessary review of state subsidies, the abolition of the pension at 63 and the sale of federal investments such as Telekom and Post.

In addition, the federal government is still sitting on reserves of almost 50 billion euros from the former asylum reserve - which the finance minister and SPD candidate for chancellor has already planned elsewhere.

When looking at the tax part of the FDP election program, the question arises with whom the Liberals want to implement this.

A traffic light coalition made up of the SPD, FDP and Greens doesn't sound more likely.

The CDU and CSU are still working on their election program.

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