• Germany's news in English

Former Merkel advisor's tax plan unfair, CSU says

The Local · 29 Jun 2011, 09:02

Published: 29 Jun 2011 09:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Paul Kirchhof, an ex-Constitutional Court judge who had been Merkel’s pick for finance minister ahead of the 2005 election, announced a tax code overhaul on Monday night that includes a controversial 25-percent “flat tax” on all incomes.

The plan has won some sporadic endorsement from individual members of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and Merkel’s own conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), but also fierce opposition.

But Alexander Dobrindt, general secretary of the CSU, which is the CDU’s Bavarian sister-party, told daily Die Welt’s Wednesday edition that while simplifying the tax code – as Kirchhof’s plan would do dramatically – was interesting, it would be unfair.

“The complexity of life is not reflected in this tax proposal,” he said. “The idea is exciting that a tax declaration fits on a small piece of paper. But whether it is fair is what I’m doubtful of.”

He cited the example of the commuter tax relief payment, which he said had proved itself as an effective tool but which would be scrapped under Kirchhof’s plan.

CSU deputy parliamentary leader Michael Meister praised Kirchhof’s recommendations but said the party would not adopt them.

The centre-left Social Democrats, environmentalist Greens and socialist party The Left all rejected the plan, as did the German Taxpayers’ Union.

A flat tax is a particularly controversial proposal that would benefit high-income earners, who currently pay a steeper rate on the amounts they earn within higher income brackets – the approach used by most western countries as a fair redistribution method.

Story continues below…

Kirchhof originally proposed the 25-percent flat tax during the 2005 election campaign that pitted Merkel against former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the SPD. Merkel initially endorsed Kirchhof’s proposal, whereupon her approval ratings plummeted. She eventually ditched the plan and just scrapped through with a narrow victory despite her originally soaring popularity.

The Local/DAPD/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:30 June 29, 2011 by freechoice
The country is broke! We need more taxes!! Zollamt is working overtime to scan all packages for tax possibilities!
17:39 June 29, 2011 by neunElf
You need more tax revenue, NOT HIGHER TAXES!

Lower marginal tax RATES, will deliver more REVENUE to the government!

The government does not create wealth, the government consumes wealth.

The private citizen in the furtherance of their own self interest will do more to create wealth and benefit society than all of the bureaucrats in Berlin.
20:25 June 29, 2011 by Landmine
Dude, they make toothpaste that whitens your teeth nowadays...
13:21 June 30, 2011 by blatus

If you really believe that a lower tax rate will lead to higher tax revenues then I'd strongly suggest you look into the effects of the whole 'trickle-down economics' and 'reagonomics'.

It's a neat idea that lower taxes will spur economic growth, yet the facts just don't support it; it's a scam perpetrated by the rich and the economists who just fail to take into account the nature of man.

(Here's a fine link which explores this further: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/06/marginal_tax_charticle.html)

So yea, Kirchhof's plan is a utopia for the wealthy (25% flat tax and no tax on dividends? Please...)
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd