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CSU demands better tax breaks for commuters

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14:04 CET+01:00
The CSU, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria and sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU, is putting forward its own tax concept that would see more money in the pockets of average working citizens and families.

CSU head Erwin Huber told the Welt am Sonntag that, among other things, he would reintroduce the commuter tax allowance and increase the amount of child support given to families.

At the start of 2007, the government cut back the commuter tax allowance so that only people who travel distances over 20 kilometres to work can claim money back. Huber says the old regulations were better.

“Given the high price of petrol, the commuter tax allowance of 30 cents starting from the first kilometre should be reintroduced for everyone, as quickly as possible,” Huber said. “Driving to work is hardly like driving to the golf range.”

Although Germany's current economic upswing has reduced the number of unemployed in the country by about a million, Huber acknowledged that food, fuel and energy have all become more expensive.

”We've managed to cut unemployment insurance contributions, now we have to cut taxes,” he said.

Huber took over from Edmund Stoiber as head of the CSU in autumn 2007, but since then, the party has not managed to improve its performance in the polls. In September, Bavaria will hold regional elections and it is uncertain whether the CSU will be able to hold onto its two-thirds majority.

Huber has openly stated that he has made it a personal mission to increase the party's profile on a national level. He plans to present his tax concept to the CDU and SPD in Berlin by mid-April.

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