Taxes up or down?
Financial policy is one of the most controversial topics in the traffic light talks.
An economic expert and Merkel advisor warns.
Munich - The fact that the traffic light soundings could drag on shouldn't hurt the economy.
At least that's what the economic expert Achim Truger thinks.
He belongs to the economic wise men who always give the government in November with their report.
And so Truger was one of those who closely advised the Merkel government on economic issues.
In an interview, Truger now warns the new government - which could be composed of the SPD, FDP and the Greens - of a mistake.
His warning is about taxes.
Several experts had already indicated that there could indeed be friction between the possible coalition partners on the subject of taxes and money.
Merkel advisor: Less tax revenue from Corona is melting financial leeway for the new government
"The budgetary situation is still tense due to the reduced tax revenue and additional expenditure due to the pandemic," Truger told
and added that "the financial leeway is tight". It is the wrong way out of the crisis to save on investments now. And then comes his warning: “In any case, it is clear that large tax cuts, as promised by some parties in the election campaign, are not currently possible.” It is “certainly not” possible “if politicians want to strictly adhere to the debt brake at the same time. "
Exactly the two points - lowering taxes and complying with the debt brake - are an important point in the FDP election program.
Again, contrary to the FDP, the economic expert also speaks out in terms of wealth tax.
Truger sees this as an opportunity to compensate for growing inequalities in Germany.
Overloading the middle class is easy to avoid, for example through high allowances.
FDP and Greens: Approaching Tax Issues Possible?
How much compromise is possible with the FDP in financial policy?
Long before the general election, Christian Lindner (FDP) had claimed the Ministry of Finance for himself.
And also on Monday, day one of the traffic light talks, the parliamentary managing director of the FDP, Marco Buschmann, affirmed: "The red lines of the FDP are well known: no tax increases and no relaxation of the debt brake of our Basic Law".
That is also clear to the Greens.
A green state minister has already approached the FDP with a tax proposal.
He could imagine that the Greens - also for the sake of the FDP - would forego wealth tax if the inheritance tax was reformed at the same time.
The warnings from the Merkel advisor are clear: Corona and the Corona measures have ruined opportunities for tax cuts.
Nevertheless, the top economist sees room for pragmatic solutions between the parties.
As far as the debt brake is concerned, he can imagine a compromise that the Greens, SPD and FDP should like: maintain the debt brake, but create more leeway for public investments.