Germany eyes €14 billion tax windfall

Germany is set for €14 billion more than expected in tax receipts by 2017, the finance ministry announced on Thursday based on highly anticipated estimates, amid tough talks on forming a coalition government.

Germany eyes €14 billion tax windfall
Photo: DPA

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The coffers of the state, regions and municipalities can expect €620 billion this year, growing annually by more than three percent to reach more than €730 billion by 2018, according to the estimate, calculated twice a year by an expert panel.

Revising its spring forecast upwards by €14 billion underscored Germany's "solid revenue basis" for the coming years, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told reporters.

But he stressed that the latest tax revenue figures also showed "the fiscal margins remain limited" for a policy of greater spending.

His conservative Christian Democrats are locked currently in negotiations with the Social Democrats (SPD) on a left-right tie-up following September elections, with the SPD pushing for greater investment in infrastructure and education financed by higher taxes for the wealthy.

Schäuble reiterated his party's opposition to raising taxes. German coffers have benefitted in recent years from a robust job market, low interest rates and moderate investment.

Schäuble expects a balanced German budget next year possibly allowing Europe's biggest economy to start paying back its debt from 2015.

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