Lafontaine demands ‘millionaire tax’ to boost economy

Lafontaine demands 'millionaire tax' to boost economy
Photo: DPA
Oskar Lafontaine, the head of the hard-line socialist Left party, on Friday demanded Germany implement a “millionaire tax” to help offset the economic impact of the financial crisis.

“The best solution would be to increase the tax rate for yearly income above €600,000 dramatically to 80 percent,” Lafontaine told the daily Passauer Neue Presse on Friday. “Such income is 20 times higher than the average income. Any obscene profits would be covered.”

He told daily Ruhr Nachrichten Germany had plenty of scope to impose a “millionaire tax” because the “bank crisis has made the income gap an issue for the entire population.”

Lafontaine, who has never shied from suggesting populist leftist measures, also demanded the German government spend more on public programmes in order to counter the economic downturn.

“Only a massive programme – the USA and China prove that – can stop the recession now,” he said, calling Berlin’s economic recovery efforts a “mini package” of ineffective measures.