CSU pushes for more tax reductions to spur growth

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 4 Apr, 2009 Updated Sat 4 Apr 2009 14:23 CEST
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The centre-right sister party of the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU) has cemented its reputation as the CDU’s right-wing economic guard-dog by calling for further tax reductions in a new tax model presented on Saturday.

The tax concept was drawn up by the leadership of the party at a meeting in Kloster Banz, a former monastery and traditional CSU conference venue in northern Bavaria. It includes a demand for lower VAT in the hotel and catering sectors, as well as a reduction in the tax on property purchase.

Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, one of two CSU ministers in the federal cabinet, described the model as “a good foundation” for the CDU and CSU joint election campaign for the upcoming general election in September.

Guttenberg claimed that his party had increasingly “called the tune” in the tax debate in recent months, though the CDU often had to be coaxed into hearing the CSU’s side.

The CSU’s Bavarian Finance Minister Georg Fahrenschon said, “We want to lower taxes because it will unshackle economic growth.” He said he was “confident” that the CDU could be persuaded to adopt the CSU plan.

Guttenberg said that whatever government enters office after the election, it must address the question of taxation as soon as possible. If the Bavarian initiative to reduce VAT in hotels, bars and restaurants should find a majority in the German upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, before the election, then “obviously the current government should consider it,” he said.

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