Due to the enormous cost of the corona pandemic, the Chancellery is questioning the debt brake – and calling for a constitutional change. Criticism from the FDP promptly followed.
Berlin (dpa) – According to the head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun, the debt brake cannot be met in the coming years – the CDU politician is calling for a constitutional change.
“In order to have a quick recovery and a reliable investment framework, it makes sense to stabilize social security contributions by the end of 2023 and also refrain from tax increases,” the CDU politician wrote in a guest article for the Handelsblatt. (Tuesday). Such a decision to restore the economy would place a significant burden on the federal budget. “In concrete terms: the debt brake will not be complied with in the coming years, even with the otherwise strict spending discipline.”
In Germany, the federal government is currently only allowed to take out new loans to a limited extent, namely a maximum of 0.35 percent of the gross domestic product. This rule was suspended last year due to the corona crisis.
Braun spoke out against “annual individual decisions” in view of a possible deviation from the debt rule. It is completely unclear how long the pandemic could be a justified circumstance. Therefore, it makes sense to combine a recovery strategy for the German economy with an amendment to the Basic Law, which provides a reliable degressive corridor for new loans for the coming years and a clear date for the return to debt repayment. rule.”
FDP leader Christian Lindner strongly contradicts Braun. “The position of the head of the chancellery has the character of a capitulation of financial policy,” Lindner told Handelsblatt. The CDU approaches the planned budget and financial policy “very specifically the debt policy demanded by the Greens”. In the long run, the public finance pandemic is “no more disastrous than the expansion of subsidies and the neglect of competitiveness since 2013”.
The head of the Chancellery emphasized in the guest contribution that if Germany is to build on the economic success of recent years, the reliable framework conditions for businesses must be updated. “This includes both forgoing tax increases and limiting social security contributions to a maximum of 40 percent of gross pay.” This is not easy to implement, given the “enormous burden on social security funds in the corona pandemic”.
Now is the right time for politicians and collective bargaining partners to develop a joint strategy “how Germany can recover quickly and sustainably from this crisis,” Braun wrote in the guest article. “Because this crisis will also bring winners and losers among the national economies.”
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