FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai: Broadside against the SPD colleagues
Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa
Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to forge a broad social alliance against an impending recession with a concerted campaign.
But even within his own traffic light government, opinions on the right strategy differ widely.
FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai rejected demands for tax increases from the SPD and the Greens.
»In view of the fragile economic development, such debates are completely counterproductive.
There is a risk of a downward spiral of recession and increasing burdens," he told the dpa news agency.
People and companies need reliable framework conditions, especially in uncertain times.
He criticized SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert.
In the debate about tax increases and additional levies, he told SPIEGEL that one was in the "unfair situation that we burden perfectly normal earned income with additional contributions to health insurance because the FDP absolutely does not want to impose any excess profit tax on those who profit from the crisis".
He wondered if that could really be the last word of the Liberals.
Djir-Sarai, on the other hand, described it as absurd to establish a connection between the introduction of an excess profit tax and the situation of statutory health insurance.
»We are already supporting the health insurance companies with considerable funds.
A temporary special tax will not help us with this permanent task, Mr. Kühnert's suggestions are therefore financial populism.«
An excess profit tax is arbitrary and opens the door to a tax policy depending on the mood, said the FDP man.
In addition, Germany does not have oil multinationals like Italy and Great Britain.
Crisis-related gains accrued to vaccine makers and solar and wind power producers.
»One must not forget that high profits are already heavily taxed and at the same time form the decisive incentive for progressive investments in profitable industries.«
The SPD and the Greens are not letting up
On the other hand, politicians from the SPD and the Greens are in favor of companies and the rich sharing the costs of the crisis.
The idea of the excess profit tax is to have corporations that benefit particularly from the situation on the energy markets pay a special levy.
The FDP has so far rejected this with reference to the coalition agreement.
SPD General Secretary Kühnert, however, does not give up.
"The situation has changed dramatically since December," he told SPIEGEL.
»An excess profit tax would be fair and would correspond to the spirit of the coalition agreement: no additional burden for top performers in mainstream society.«