The plans of Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) to relieve taxpayers come at the wrong time, according to economic experts Veronika Grimm.
"A reform in which the higher earners nominally gain more comes at the wrong time," Grimm told the Düsseldorf "Rheinische Post" on Thursday.
"In principle, however, it is correct: the cold progression should be compensated for."
On the one hand, it makes sense to relieve the middle of society in view of the high inflation.
"On the other hand, we currently need relief, primarily for lower and middle incomes, who cannot bear the hardship caused by the price increases on their own," said the member of the Advisory Council on the assessment of overall economic development.
“You should try to relieve lower and middle income groups in a targeted manner, right down to the middle of society.
Relief with the watering can, such as the tank discount or a reduction in VAT, is not indicated.
"Should there be even greater challenges - for example due to a gas shortage - then the Bundestag can and will decide."
Lindner defends himself against criticism
Lindner defended his relief plans.
"It's socially balanced," said the FDP leader on ZDF's "heute journal".
“The strong shoulders will continue to carry a great burden.
But they are not burdened any more.
And above all, we make sure that inflation doesn't suddenly pay more taxes to people who don't really have broad shoulders.” It's a “pure inflation adjustment”.
According to the Minister of Finance, 48 million citizens should benefit from the relief.
In total, more than ten billion euros are involved.
In percentage terms, low earners are relieved much more than top earners - but in absolute figures it looks different.
The two coalition partners, the Greens and the SPD, consider this to be socially unbalanced.
Lindner emphasized that the proposed tax cuts were capped.
“The additional relief ends at an annual income of 62,000 euros – or from there there is no longer any additional benefit.
That is about 1.5 times the median income in Germany.
From this point there is no further relief.” According to Lindner's plans, the maximum tax relief for an individual is 479 euros in the coming year.
The FDP leader also referred to other measures aimed at people with low incomes.
That's what he called the relief packages that have already been decided, with a one-off payment for Hartz IV recipients and a heating subsidy for housing benefit recipients.
He also recalled coalition plans for a reform of housing benefit and a conversion of Hartz IV into a new “citizen’s allowance”: “We’re taking care of the people who don’t get their homes heated with the new housing allowance, and there are citizen’s allowances for the people on basic social security."