The union between Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) announced their election-year tax cut plans on June 28. Details included dropping the rate for low-income earners from 14 to 12 percent and raising the threshold after which the top rate applies from €52,000 to €60,000.
National elections are scheduled for September 27.
But voters are not convinced by the Chancellor’s promises, 52 percent of those asked said they thought the government’s large budget deficits would make tax cuts impossible.
Contrary to Merkel’s promise, 64 percent of the respondents to the Allensbach Institute’s poll said they thought their taxes would rise next year.
Just 25 percent of Germans thought tax rates would stay where they currently are and only four percent thought taxes would fall.
Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück, who is from the rival Social Democratic Party that currently governs in an uncomfortable coalition with the CDU, criticised the CDU’s tax promises in an interview with public broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur Saturday.
Steinbrück said it was astounding that the same party which recently helped pass a balanced budget amendment, which will prevent states and the federal government from taking on new debt, could “simultaneously make grandiose promises to the country for tax cuts worth tens of billions.”