• 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)

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
Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany made it harder Friday for people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia to apply for asylum after lawmakers classified the three Balkan countries as safe, with respect for basic rights. READ  

German Muslims rally against extremism
Muslims pray in Kreuzberg, Berlin, on Friday outside a mosque which was damaged in an arson attack. Photo: DPA

German Muslims rally against extremism

Muslims across Germany held a day of prayers and rallies on Friday to condemn both Islamic extremism and a backlash against their faith that has seen arson attacks on mosques. READ  

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup
The trainers on the air strip in Hohn, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: Bundeswehr.

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup

Military trainers flew to northern Iraq from Germany on Friday, ahead of a huge delivery of weapons from the German military, but things didn’t initially go as planned. READ  

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches
Photo: DPA

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches

UPDATE: Munich will play host to four Euro 2020 games, European football’s governing body Uefa announced in Geneva on Friday, but London was the real winner. READ  

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils
The scene by the bus stop outside the school in Diepholz. Photo: DPA

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils

An 18-year-old drove into a group of students outside a school in western Germany on Friday morning, injuring several. READ  

View from Germany
'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'
'No' campaign supporters celebrate in Edinburgh after the results were announced. Photo: DPA

'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'

UPDATE: The German government welcomed the result of the Scottish independence referendum on Friday, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier calling it the "right decision". READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's beer
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's beer

The Local's Oktoberfest guide chugs some of the Bavarian tipple fueling this whole shindig. READ  

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire
Kreuzberg's Cuvrybrache. Photo: DPA

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire

UPDATE: One of Berlin’s biggest squats was torn apart by a fire on Thursday night following an argument. READ  

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors
Photo: DPA

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors

A woman who gave birth after becoming sterilized has tried and failed to sue the hospital which carried out the operation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,367
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd