“It cannot be possible that such a rich society as the German one is not capable of reaching a balanced level of income,” Grönemeyer told news magazine Der Spiegel.
“If one likes community, then those who earn money more easily, must give it up more easily,” he said. “I support taxation increases for bigger-earners.”
Müller-Westerhagen told the magazine he also wanted richer people to pay more, although he said he was against double taxation.
“A so-called wealth tax, which would tax money which has already been taxed, is illogical,” he said. “But an increase in the top rate of tax in order to get the top earners to take some responsibility in the light of the financial crisis, is understandable and just.”
The idea that those with more money should pay more under current circumstances was raised by Kurt Lauk, president of the Christian Democratic Union economics council, who last week called for a reasonable increase in value added tax, and an increase in the top rates of income tax of up to four percent.
The first to support the idea was Dietmar Hopp, one of Germany's richest men, who was co-founder of SAP and is now an important investor in the biotech industry. He said there was no other choice, and that an increase in top taxes was, “justified as one cannot only reduce social services.”