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MPs call for hike in commuter allowance

The Local · 3 May 2011, 08:57

Published: 03 May 2011 08:57 GMT+02:00

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Karl Holmeier, deputy chairman of the conservatives’ employees group in the Bundestag, told daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that commuters needed to be relieved from higher fuel prices.

Members of the centre-left opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the socialist Left party joined the call, though the environmentalist Greens oppose such a raise.

Holmeier, of the Bavarian conservative Christian Social Union, said the cost could be offset by the extra VAT that the government was now raking in on the higher cost of petrol.

“When the petrol price climbs by 10 cents, the government takes 1.9 cents per litre in extra VAT,” he said. “We should put this money back into the commuter allowance.”

He added that the competition watchdog, the Bundeskartellamt, had to act against possible price-fixing by fuel companies.

The economic policy spokesman for the SPD’s parliamentary group, Garrelt Duin, backed the call for a higher allowance and demanded the government to put forward a comprehensive package to ease transport costs.

Left party chief Klaus Ernst has previously called for a raise in the Pendlerpauschale from the present 30 cents to 45 cents per kilometre.

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But the Greens parliamentary group leader Bärbel Höhn told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger that a rise in the allowance could encourage fuel companies to further manipulate prices.

DAPD/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:40 May 3, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
As a cyclist I never understood why I should subsidise those work collogues who drive in?
13:19 May 3, 2011 by HansT
Once again the politicians are trying to deflect the real problem... 75-80 percent of the price is TAX; not just the 19 percent MwsT (which effectively is a tax on the tax)! And worse, the tax isn't levied per liter, rather as a set percentage of the price.

As the CSU's Holmeier pointed out, they could easily limit the tax on the recent increases and still bring in the same level of tax receipts, but anyone who thinks that crowd will turn down a windfall is whistling past the poorhouse.

Blame the oil companies or Arab sheiks or the poor guy who takes your money at the Tankstelle if you like, but the real problem is, as usual, in those big buildings in Berlin Mitte.
18:44 May 3, 2011 by toemag
Yep lets put the horse behind the cart....
21:22 May 3, 2011 by 9900lawre
In the UK only the self employed can do this. Is this the same for Germany or do they really mean all workers?

If it's all workers then why should the non-mechanical transport worker pay more tax in the long run than the mechanical transport worker?

For an enviromentaly consious country that's just F&%£ed up! It's just as bad as workers paying for non-workers to sit at home and claim for doing nothing.
12:28 May 4, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
> In the UK only the self employed can do this. Is this the same for Germany or do they really mean all workers?

I am a "normal" office worker: in the UK I was on PAYE, end of story. But in Germany a monthly amount is deducted at source, but once a year I can fill in a form to reclaim some tax back. One of those allowed items allowed is commuting expenses.
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