• Germany edition
 
SPD aims to topple Merkel with social justice
Photo: DPA

SPD aims to topple Merkel with social justice

Published: 12 Mar 2013 07:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Mar 2013 07:00 GMT+01:00

Germany's main opposition party said on Monday it wanted to create a "new social balance" in Europe's biggest economy, judging that the gap between rich and poor was growing and that financial markets needed greater regulation.

SPD candidate for chancellor, Peer Steinbrück, told a news conference that his party would introduce a "legal, flat-rate minimum wage of at least €8.50" if elected in federal election on September 22.

The SPD manifesto also stressed: "Markets need regulation. This is true especially for the financial markets, in which many products continue to be traded without controls - with dangerous consequences. The SPD will create these regulations, with its international partners."

The party also promised to raise the top rate of income tax in Germany to 49 percent for people earning more than €100,000 annually or married couples earning more than €200,000 between them.

Currently, people earning more than €52,882 pay a rate of 42 percent income tax. There is also a so-called "rich tax" affecting those who earn more than €250,000, who pay a rate of 45 percent.

At the European level, the SPD called for a "common economic government" and for the European Commission to be elected by the European Parliament.

"The EU should only legislate what is reasonable at that level. Everything else should remain the individual responsibility of individual member states," said the manifesto.

"The SPD wants to govern because the CDU, CSU and FDP can't," concluded the manifesto, referring to Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and her pro-business Free Democratic allies.

The manifesto must be formally adopted by a party conference next month.

A survey released on Thursday put the SPD on 26 percent with Merkel's CDU/CSU on 40 percent. But a national poll last week put social justice as the top issue for German voters.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:47 March 12, 2013 by pepsionice
They are basically signing up to the Greece philosophy of budget-consequences. Course, this is the year that you have the Pirate Party and the anti-Euro Party....so you can't predict how people will react and vote in the fall.
17:30 March 12, 2013 by Englishted
Will they categorically state that they will reduce the gap between the haves and have nots .

"Judging that the gap between the rich and poor was growing"

Is not the same as doing something about a situation that is a plague in the developed and will eventually cause splits and violence within society.

Sadly I have no faith in a leadership that was in cahoots with C.D.U. in the gross coalition and seems keen on lining it's own pockets as it's number one priority.
19:12 March 12, 2013 by Wrench
So, why should I work? If half my income goes to income tax. Why work? Just live off the social system like the politicians do. I have yet to see a politician that actually wants to work for the people. And another thing, I don't understand this crap about paying my 'fair share'. Why not have a cross the board 20% income tax from every single working person in the country including politicians and companys. That means no more expensive Internal Revenue Service.

I spent years of study to earn a degree, all the while earning a living waiting tables, working at fast food places and even cleaning horse stalls just so I could have half my income taken away and given to some jackass lining his pockets.
19:34 March 12, 2013 by Bulldawg82
Looks like the SPD is mentally bankrupt. If all you ever have for an answer is "we need to raise taxes", then you've got nothing to offer the nation. If the SPD doesn't think they have what it takes to live within a budget, then they should disband or get people who can.
Today's headlines
Man shot in tax office dispute
DPA

Man shot in tax office dispute

A tax office worker in the Schleswig-Holstein town of Rendsburg died in hospital after being shot on Monday morning. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg
Berlin and Hamburg mayors Klaus Wowereit and Olaf Scholz on Monday. Photos: DPA

Olympic visions compete in Berlin and Hamburg

Germany's capital and its gateway to the North Sea each released details of their Olympic bids on Monday as the race for the 2024 or 2028 summer games nominations picks up momentum. READ  

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria
Photo: DPA

Vacationer killed by Baltic Sea bacteria

Six people were infected with a bacteria from the Caribbean which has made itself at home in the popular German vacation destination. One of them is now in a coma. READ  

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees
DPA

UN applauds Germany's help to refugees

UNHCR Commissioner Antonio Guterres is lauding Germany's role in accommodating the influx of refugees in Europe, while pointing at the imbalance of effort within the EU. The federal government has pledged to do more. READ  

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome
Photo: DPA

Energy-sucking vacuums no longer welcome

Starting on Monday, vacuum cleaners drawing more than 1600 watts can no longer be brought into Germany. The ban is part of a an EU-wide environmental protection measure. READ  

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote
CDU leader Stanislav Tillich with SPD Martig Dulig. Photo: DPA

Coalition horsetrading starts after Saxony vote

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic (CDU) party is in search of a new partner after the expulsion of its former allies the Free Democrats (FDP) from the Saxon state parliament. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation
Photo: Phorms Education

Bilingual education from nursery to graduation

A network of German based schools is changing how students learn languages by introducing English and Deutsch from day one, with the method yielding impressive academic results. The Local finds out more about Phorms Education. READ  

JobTalk Germany
'German bosses need to praise more'
More of this? Photo: Shutterstock

'German bosses need to praise more'

What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice. READ  

Train drivers take their turn to strike
A banner announcing a previous rail strike in June is displayed in a station. Photo: DPA

Train drivers take their turn to strike

A train drivers' union has warned of a nationwide strike to take place on Monday evening as it seeks leverage in negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,418
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd