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SPD calls for higher taxes on the rich

Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) is calling for higher taxes on the rich in light of a widening income gap between the country’s wealthiest and poorest residents.

SPD calls for higher taxes on the rich
A girl sits at a closed playground in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Some 26 percent of Germans are poor or in danger of slipping into poverty, according to a report expected on Monday from German Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat.

“We need a new solidarity. This will be impossible without the help of those with the highest wages and the most capital,” SPD MP Karl Lauterbach told the newspaper Neue Presse in its Monday edition.

Lauterbach called for income tax relief for the poorest Germans.

But he said taxes on inheritances and other assets should be increased.

“We must consider placing a larger share of the tax burden on the income that grows the most quickly – and often without a great deal of effort,” Lauterbach told the newspaper.

The SPD is the junior governing partner in a parliamentary grand coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats.

Fritz Kuhn, chairman of the opposition Green Party, said the governing coalition has failed to take action.

The coalition must “quit with the lamenting and finally take action,” Kuhn told the newspaper Berliner Zeitung on Monday.

Klaus Ernst, a chief of the hard-line socialist party The Left, said the poverty report to be presented on Monday documents the failure of the SPD.

“While they have been in power the number of millionaires has doubled while poverty has increased significantly,” Ernst told the Berliner Zeitung.

CULTURE

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday made a push for equal pay for men and women international footballers after Germany's successful run at the recent European Championships.

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

“My position on this is clear,” Scholz said after a meeting with the German Football Association (DFB) to discuss the issue.

“We talked about how we can continue to help more girls and women get excited about football. Of course, the wages at such tournaments play a major role in this,” he said.

“That’s why it makes sense to discuss equal pay. I made the suggestion and I’m very grateful that there is a willingness to discuss this issue.”

Germany scored their biggest major tournament success since 2015 at this year’s European Championships, losing to England in the final at Wembley.

Scholz attended the final and also supported the women’s team by tweeting: “It’s 2022, and women and men should be paid equally. This also applies to sport, especially for national teams.”

READ ALSO: Scholz to cheer on Germany at Euro 2022 final

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP headquarters on Tuesday.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP (German Football Association) headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Gollnow

Germany’s women would have received €60,000 each if they had triumphed at the tournament, while the men would have received €400,000 each had they prevailed at the Euros last year.

Bernd Neuendorf, president of the DFB, said he understood the argument “that equal work and success should also have the same value”.

“I’m willing to discuss in our committees whether our payment system is up to date or whether it should be adjusted,” he said.

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg suggested that international footballers’ wages could be evened out by paying women more and men less.

Officials must now “follow up with action” after the meeting, she said in an interview with the ZDF broadcaster.

Scholz said he was “very, very proud” of the women’s performance at the Euros, even if “it didn’t quite work out”.

“I hope it will have a long-lasting effect, not only on the players themselves… but also on football in Germany,” he said.

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