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Majority of Germans against Merkel's tax cuts

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Majority of Germans against Merkel's tax cuts
Photo: DPA
10:46 CET+01:00
The majority of Germans are against the new centre-right coalition's latest tax cuts, a poll released by public broadcaster ARD on Friday revealed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their junior coalition partners the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) only narrowly succeeded at passing controversial €8.5-billion in tax relief in December. But the government has made no secret the package is just a taste of larger cuts planned for the coming years.

However, many economists have said the country's dire finances cannot handle the new fiscal measures, and the poll showed that most Germans agree. Some 58 percent of those asked by ARD said they were against the tax cuts, while 38 percent said they were in favour of a sweeping tax reform in 2011.

Among CDU supporters some 56 percent were against the government's tax policies, and 36 percent were in favour.

Even the majority of FDP supporters were against the coalition's decision. Some 53 percent said they did not support their party's plans to lessen their tax burden, while 43 percent said they would still be in favour.

The most resistance came from the highest earning poll participants, who make more than €3,000 after taxes a month. Just 31 percent of the wealthy said they supported paying fewer taxes, and 69 percent were opposed.

Forty-nine percent of lower-income households, which earn less than €1,500 after taxes, said they would welcome tax cuts. Another 45 percent said they didn't think a few extra euros were necessary.

When asked whether the tax cut levels were appropriate, participants were split almost evenly. Forty-five percent said they were acceptable, and 44 percent said they were too high. Just one percent said they were too low.

The poll was conducted for ARD by Infratest dimap, who questioned 1,000 citizens on Monday and Tuesday.

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