Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) has spoken out in favor of his party's plans to reinstate wealth tax. "I closely followed the SPD working group and supported the result of following the Swiss example," Scholz told Handelsblatt . At the end of last week it became known that Olaf Scholz is running for the SPD presidency.
Acting SPD leader Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel wants to present a concept for a wealth tax on Monday, just a week before the state elections in Saxony and Brandenburg. It is to bring the state annually ten billion euro. Allowances are to ensure that the tax applies only from a specific asset, Schäfer-Gümbel had stated in the Rheinische Post . How high the fortune must be, has not yet been determined. This plan to enforce the new tax is pursued by the SPD alone. The issue had been left out of the coalition so far.
Schäfer-Gümbel justifies the reintroduction of wealth tax by the fact that alone in the communal area investment funds of 150 billion euros are missing. For this he had called the Swiss model as a role model. The Swiss property tax knows special rules for economic imbalances. It applies, among other things, to cash balances, securities, real estate, cars, jewelery, works of art and real estate. The tax rate is higher for larger assets. Income taxes in Switzerland are comparatively low.
Criticism from Union and FDP
Union and FDP criticize the initiative of the acting SPD chairman and fear damage to Germany as a business location.
CDU General Secretary Paul Ziemiak said the Social Democratic plans triggered a "cheap envy debate". "With the Union there will be no taxation of assets." The SPD is obviously trying to copy the party The Left - the Left Party has always wanted to draw rich people to finance the commonwealth. "What we need now are not additional taxes, but relief for the economy and investments in the future of the location Germany," Ziemiak formulated the objectives of the CDU.
The CSU politician and finance chairman of the Union faction Hans Michel Bach spoke out against a reissue of wealth tax. He spoke of "class struggle through tax policy." The FDP called the push "wrong and nonsensical". Germany is already a high-tax country, said the fiscal spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group Florian Toncar. There were also criticisms from business associations. "The proposal to burden German companies in addition to a property tax in their substance, is going in the wrong direction," said the President of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Eric Schweitzer, the Handelsblatt . Especially in times of weaker economic activity, companies need sufficient funds to invest in new technologies.
Schäfer-Gümbel had pointed out that there are significantly higher wealth taxes in other countries than the SPD Commission now plans for Germany. In the US, the share is at four percent, in France and the UK even more. "If we introduce the wealth tax at one percent, I do not see that the German company would hurt internationally," said the acting SPD chief.