• Germany's news in English

Greens plan to raise taxes for top earners

The Local · 15 Oct 2011, 15:52

Published: 15 Oct 2011 15:52 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

But the parties would still differ on where to set the highest tax bracket. The SPD would only impose the top tax rate on people earning more than €100,000 a year, while the Greens would make single people earning more than €80,000 pay the top rate.

According to a report in the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper on Saturday, the Green party would expect the state to make an additional €5 billion a year from the tax hike. "The Green target is to make strong shoulders pay more income tax again," a Green party statement said.

Party leader Cem Özdemir added that the idea was to "relieve people on small and middle incomes."

The Green party also wants to cut tax breaks for large companies, public sector workers, childless married couples and motorists. The plan would mean pensions for public sector workers would be calculated according to their average income throughout their careers, not their final income.

The move comes after the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) recommended raising taxes for high earners. "I personally think a higher tax burden for top earners is fair and doable," DIW boss Gert Wagner told the Berliner Zeitung.

The DIW also suggested imposing a net wealth tax on Germany's 350,000 millionaires. Wagner said a 0.5 percent tax on the fortunes of Germany's richest would bring the state up to €7 billion.

The new policy is set to be ratified at the Green party conference in the northern German town of Kiel at the end of November.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

20:39 October 15, 2011 by Aburgboy
WoW... this is ridiculous. If they want professionals to take the next boat out of here this is the best way to do it. Why achieve more if it will just be taken away from you? Why should you pay more when there are 2 and 3 generation families living on the State's welfare program? This party is about to kill all the momentum they harnessed, and the FDP will surge again.
10:01 October 16, 2011 by aceroni
@aburgboy, Redistribution of wealth is fair, doable and necessary. The costs of banks failures should be paid by the ones that earned more by these financial tricks. If you want to leave fell free to reserve a ticket on the next inter-continental flight. You might find that there are very few places left where the high earners are popular.
17:40 October 16, 2011 by Asgarli
High-qualified employee seekers of US and other EU countries welcome this decision :)
17:57 October 16, 2011 by melcart
When soccer players, CEO's, bankers, etc. earn multi-million dollar salaries, 80,000 euros does not seem especially high. Calling this earnings bracket the "top earners" is stretching the definition of "top". This is the earnings bracket to which the professionals (engineers, hand workers, scientist, doctors, etc.) and small business owners can aspire. These are not the millionaires who profited the most from the bank bail outs. This is the upper end of the German middle class. If you want to further decimate the German middle class, then raising taxes on them is the best way to do it...
21:04 October 16, 2011 by Englishted

well what do you class as top?

I would find the average including the €400 "hard workers" then find the top 10% of that ,would that make them top earners ?.

but increase the tax to 50%.
08:40 October 17, 2011 by melcart
Yes, the 80,000 euros would be in the top 20% of all wage earners...

In the US the slogan being used in the rallys is "We are the 99 percent" not "We are the 80%"...

80,000 euros is a little over two times the average wage in Germany. By contrast, Ackermann & Co are earning 100 times the average wage. To lump these two groups together is a bit absurd. CEO's are already able to opt out of the German public pension system and the public health insurance. So its only the middle class that is showing solidarity with the poor in supporting the social system.

Then there is the problem that CEO's and bankers are able to take a large part of their income as capital income (stock options, etc.). This income is all taxed at a flat 25% rate (a tax rate pushed through wen the Greens were in power).

Maybe the Greens should go after capital income over 80,000 per year. This would really hit only the upper 1%...
16:35 October 17, 2011 by LecteurX
@ The Local - the top income tax rate in Germany is 45% !! Not 42%. Please, correct this.

I'm hardly a right-winger and I believe in income redistribution and reducing unequalities, but I think this policy is a step too far and terribly misguided. Germany is not a tax heaven. I earn what I consider a good salary, still well below the 80K threshold, but not so far as to think that 80,000 euros per year is an income that makes anyone "wealthy". This is a middle-class income, or let's say an "almost-upper-middle-class" income level, but hardly a "top earner" income. Yes, defining a "top-earner" is quite relative and subjective, but I'm quite sure you don't have to be a banker or a professional football player to earn this much. The current top earner bracket is 250,000 a year, and they want to bring this to 80K! This is madness and will certainly alienate middle-class voters and businesspeople. I definitely agree with Melcart on this. With 80,000 income, you lump the "successful" middle-class with the zillionnaires of this country... what a horrible message.
10:19 October 18, 2011 by nolibs
lol...the Greens are showing their true colors...RED!

@aceroni - Redistribution of wealth is not "fair" to those who did the work to earn it. Not everyone has ties to the banking industry. Rather than steal wealth from those who earned it (stealing is what you are advocating), perhaps it is better to go after the wealth of the bankers and such who gained their wealth from illegal practices. That would be fair and just...and would not be stealing.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd