Wednesday , February 20 2019
SPD-Generalsekretär Lars Klingbeil

SPD wants to finance welfare state reform with higher taxes for the rich


The SPD is considering financing its plans to reorganize the welfare state through higher taxes for the rich. "First of all, we currently have tax revenues, they are there," Secretary-General said Lars Klingbeil in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin". For the preservation of the welfare state, however, one must also "hold the super-rich to account".

Next Klingbeil said: "The wealth tax is a point that we think about as SPD." He observes that "the gap in this country between rich and poor" is diverging. Finance Olaf Scholz At the end of January, he had already raised his top tax rate by three points to 45 percent pronounced.

The SPD has her weekend at her retreat "Social State Concept 2025" decided. This contains one Departure from Hartz IV in favor of a so-called citizen's income – that would sanction social assistance recipients less strongly; older unemployed people would receive up to three years of unemployment benefit I instead of falling into social assistance after 12 or 24 months as they do today. In addition, the minimum wage of currently € 9.19 is to be raised to € 12 and a family working time with family allowance introduced.

Criticism from the opposition

The coalition partner expressed his understanding: "It is totally legitimate for the SPD to say that we want to move a bit more to the left because we want to sharpen our profile," said the Union's faction leader Ralph Brinkhaus in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin".

The opposition, however, criticized the concept – from different perspectives. FDP-Boss Christian Lindner told the Handelsblatt: "Instead of distributing billions of dollars worth of election campaign gifts with the garden hose, the SPD should think about how we can better target old-age poverty."

The Left considers the proposals of the SPD for insufficient: "Who wants to break away from the agenda policy, the deregulation of the labor market has to declare war," said Group leader Susanne Ferschl the news agency AFP. This meant abolishing non-prudential time limits and agency work, limiting mini and midi jobs and raising the contribution rates in basic security.

Klingbeil: A means test for a basic pension creates only more bureaucracy

Klingbeil defended in the "morning magazine" also the initiative of SPD labor minister Hubertus Heil, long-term pension contributors without testing the neediness one ground rent above the Hartz IV level (read an analysis here). Such a means test is "not practicable". Because: The proportion of low-income earners, who would not be eligible, is "so small that it is not justified to build a bureaucratic apparatus that checks over and over again the retirees," he said.

Although the basic pension is provided for in the coalition agreement, it is linked to a means test. Union members had the proposal of the SPD in the face of foreseeable billions repeated in the federal budget criticized as too expensive, Instead, she prefers the solidarity surcharge abolish for the most income-rich ten percent of citizens and stops Tax cuts make sense,

The social-political left-wing pressure of the SPD has triggered a discussion about whether the party wants to provoke a break with the grand coalition (read a comment here). Klingbeil resisted this suspicion: "We want to govern, but we also want to govern with ideas that are up-to-date," he said. The majority of people stand behind the demands of the SPD, He was sure that there would be movement in the Union as well.




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