Higher taxes on airline tickets, more commuter tax allowances and cheaper train tickets: The Federal Cabinet has initiated new tax regulations as part of the climate package of the grand coalition.
Key points on the planned price for CO2 emissions in traffic and buildings were also decided, as the news agency dpa reported, citing government circles.
With the climate protection program, the federal government wants to ensure that Germany still achieves its climate targets for 2030:
- In order for more citizens to change from car to train, train tickets should become cheaper. For this purpose, the VAT on long-distance tickets from 19 to 7 percent will be reduced.
- In return for a CO2 price in traffic, the commuter allowance for long journeys should increase for five years. From the 21st kilometer, instead of 30, there will be 35 cents per kilometer in the future.
- Anyone who renovates walls or roofs in their condominium or in their house, renews windows, doors or heating, is to be taxed for more than three years.
- In addition, the coalition plans higher taxes on airline tickets.
Already in the coming week, the coalition parties want to bring the corresponding bills into the Bundestag. According to information from the dpa from coalition circles, a shortened parliamentary procedure is planned.
Thus, the package should be introduced not only in the Bundestag, but in parallel in the Landkammer and, if necessary, in the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat. Only then will it be possible to complete the package by the start of the parliamentary Christmas break on 20 December later this year, it was said.
"Klein-Klein" and "Pillepalle": clear criticism of the opposition
In the opposition, the decisions of the Federal Cabinet met with criticism: Greens parliamentary leader Anton Hofreiter said that the coalition continues "with Klein-Klein in climate protection". The Union and the SPD lacked the courage "to reduce environmentally harmful subsidies" and "to expand renewable energies".
The left-wing climate expert Lorenz Gösta Beutin criticized the cabinet decisions as "completely inadequate". Here is "the CO2 price a lazy replacement for climate policy regulatory law". The left-wing group vice Gesine Lötzsch spoke of "Pillepalle".
The FDP environmental expert Lukas Köhler turned against the higher air traffic tax and accused the government of "indiscriminate individual measures" without climate change effect. FDP leader Christian Lindner also criticized that the CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had sought before the decisions no cross-party talks on a "climate consensus" - unlike heretofore announced.
"This is a regrettable omission, because in climate policy, it would be of great value to have planning security across legislature periods and change of government," said Lindner. Now improvements are "only in detail conceivable".
The aviation industry also criticized the plans. "Increasing the aviation tax in a renewed national unilateral tightened sharply the distortion of competition at the expense of German airlines and airports," said the CEO of the Association of the German aviation industry, Matthias von Randow. "With such a legal weakening of the investment power of our companies, the Federal Government is taking a completely wrong route."
The Lufthansa said: "The economy is burdened, but the climate is not really relieved." The substantial increase in the aviation tax sharpens the one-sided burden on the German location and meet domestic airlines and airports disproportionately.