Ten percent of Germans own over half of country’s wealth

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 25 Jan, 2016 Updated Mon 25 Jan 2016 09:03 CEST
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Social inequality is on the rise as the richest ten percent of Germans have increased their share of the country’s wealth, new figures show.

The top ten percent of German households now own 51.9 percent of the country’s assets, figures calculated by the Social Ministry and published by the Passauer Neue Presse show.

In contrast, in 1998 the top ten percent of households possessed 45.1 percent of wealth.

The poorest 50 percent of households owned 1 percent of the country’s wealth in 2013, whereas in 1998 this number was significantly higher, at 2.9 percent.

The social ministry included money, property, businesses and valuable objects in the count - meaning paintings and jewellery were also considered.

Debts and liabilities meanwhile were deducted from a households’ wealth.

In response to the development, Die Linke (the Left Party) demanded a new system of taxation.

"In Germany there is a gross reallocation of wealth from the bottom up to the top that can clearly be seen in the official statistics," vice party head Sabine Zimmermann told the Passauer Neue Presse.

The trend needs to be broken, Zimmermann said, arguing for a tax on millionaires in which the first million of a household’s wealth would not be taxed, but would levy 5 percent thereafter.

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