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Unions warn unfair cuts would prompt trouble

DDP/DPA/The Local · 5 Jun 2010, 11:18

Published: 05 Jun 2010 11:18 GMT+02:00

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As politicians prepared to start two days of budget talks on Sunday, industry figures called for up to €6 billion to be cut from unemployment support.

This prompted tired fury from Michael Vassiliadis, head of the industrial trade union Mining, Chemicals, Energy (IG-BCE), the third largest union in the country.

“Again, the unemployed supposedly are doing too well, and will get into work fast if the benefits are cut. I do not intend to deal with suggestions of such quality. That is wasted energy which is desperately needed for the solution of real problems. The unions in any case will not allow for those who carry the burden of the economic crisis to be further punished,” he told the Frankfurter Rundschau on Saturday.

One of the options being considered by the government is the imposition of taxes on night, Sunday and holiday shift payments, currently tax-free, which Vassiliadis said would cost a married shift worker earning €3,000 a month before taxes around €4,000 a year.

“I would just warn the coalition – if they go against tax exemptions, they cross a red line. Then there really will be trouble – and without us having to mobilise. That topic will mobilise the people on its own. Shift workers would find such cuts as the most unfair of all. The government would have to be ready for serious protests,” he said.

Various media reports suggest that cuts could be made in Hartz IV unemployment payments or a drastic reduction in the maximum amount of parental support. There could also be tax increases from next year, with the tax on tobacco particularly favoured, but an additional payment demanded from energy companies could also be considered.

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Other suggestions under consideration include cutting various aid programmes for farmers such as the milk support programme, as well as the agricultural allowance on diesel.

Baden-Württemberg’s state premier Stefan Mappus called for value added tax to be used to raise money in a fair manner – saying that the reduced VAT on a range of products and services costs the state €20 billion a year, which could easily be recouped.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:23 June 5, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
It's always the citizens that need to pay! Perish the thought that the Govt may be overpaid! Or that they may need to tighten their belt some. Bail outs? Humanitarian spending? Sorry, but charity is need at home in this time...
13:53 June 5, 2010 by mrsams
"They say unemployment has went down but really has it, they are allowed to partially count the 1 euro jobs as employed as they can more people who where unemployed but then got pregnant to another column making the numbers look better."

chicagolive 1 euro job is not counted as employed because they are the hartz4 people, that's mandatory that they have to do 1 euro job or else the benefits will be cut.To have children it's not automatic that you can get a healthy economic situation for the future.Maybe you have to look other countries with so so much birth rate you think this children in the future really can give good contribution to the society or only a burdens? There's no bad about 400 euro job, you are not working 8 hours per day on that.Some just work for 3 days in a week in few hours.That 's one of the programs here, that at least when people cannot get a proper job there is still this 400 euro job in the corner, that will make the people move and work than sitting and drinking.
15:27 June 5, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
And when people have less money, they spend less... and when they spend less, there is less tax revenue. On the other hand, when the taxes are lower, people prosper and spend more and employers are encouraged to hire and tend to treat employees better! How about a tax hike on media?!?!?

mrsams I know someone with a €400 job that in reality gives an in crease of €25 more per week for 15 hours work.(after expenses zB fahrkate) In reality she works closer to 20 hours in hope that it will lead to a better job.
18:40 June 5, 2010 by Bushdiver
This country's social benefits have for the most part for decades been abused. It's only been the past 15 years that we are now seeing higher taxes for Krankenkasse with less benefits. How many people in this country would rather sit on their butts and collect unemployment than go to work? This isn't anything new, it's been going on for the past 40+ years that I've lived here. Sooner or later this increase in charges and reduction in services were bound to happen. I see young people everyday sitting on the sidewalks begging for money and they are all atleast 40 years younger than me. If I can work so can they.
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