Shorten child allowances, plan to stop poverty

In the fight to end child poverty, the centre-left SPD wants to shorten the tax exemption for dependent children. The SPD suggests using the money raised to pay for measures such as school meals.

“We are seeing if it is constitutional to modify tax exemptions for dependents,” head of the SPD in Lower Saxony Wolfgang Jüttner told the Financial Times Deutschland.

Jüttner, chairman of the SPD working group for child poverty, argued that the current tax exemptions are “no longer appropriate,” as parents are taking a less active role in childcare than before.

Those arguing for cutbacks of child allowances say that households with high incomes benefit the most.

Centre-right politicians have slammed the SPD proposals

“The shortening of tax exemptions for dependent children is not a for policy option,” said Carl-Ludwig Thiele of the FDP in Berlin. He explained that the federal constitution gives every citizen the right to a base of untaxed income based on their living needs and those of dependent children. He accused the SPD of populism.

He said that the allowances were “not a good deed on the part of the state, but a constitutional entitlement of citizens,” Thiele added.