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Commuter package: How the climate package rewards the top earners


Everyone who continues to drive to work benefits from the increase in the commuter tax rate. A calculation also shows: High earners have despite rising fuel prices no reason to drive fuel-efficient cars.

Who drives more car, gets more money - that is the message, which emanates from the new climate package of the Federal Government. For an incentive to drive less, or switch to fuel-efficient car models, creates the increase in the commuter tax, despite the planned increase in gasoline and diesel prices not. This is the result of two independent calculations by the Green Bundestag faction and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

On the one hand, the recently presented climate package provides for CO2 pricing in the transport sector. The prices for gasoline and diesel rise by about three cents per liter, from 2026 to then continue to nine to 15 cents per liter. At the same time, from 2021, the commuter allowance will be increased. For distances of more than 20 kilometers, the flat rate should then increase from 30 to 35 cents - five cents more than currently taxed per kilometer.

A sample calculation of the green parliamentary group shows that especially high earners benefit from this increase. It takes on average 220 working days, a commuter route of 60 kilometers and a car with a consumption of seven liters per 100 kilometers.

More money thanks to the commuter package

Accordingly, low-income earners, with a tax rate of 15 percent, increase the reimbursement per commuter allowance from 444 euros to 510 euros. That means 66 euros more than before. If one subtracts the additional burden of more expensive gasoline (three cents per liter, at 7l / 100km consumption) from 55.44 euros, remains a total of 10.56 euros .

For people with high incomes , with a tax rate of 47.47 percent, the reimbursement per commuter allowance increases from 1405.15 euros to 1614.15 euros - means a plus of 208.89 euros. Less the additional burden of 55.44 euros, a total of 153.45 euros remains.

According to the calculation, the reimbursement of the commuter allowance is in many cases higher than the additional expenses due to a higher fuel tax . You will often get money in the future if you simply continue to commute with your diesel or petrol engine, "says Oliver Krischer, Deputy Group Chairman of the Green Bundestag faction.

No incentive for economical cars

On the other hand, train drivers benefit most from the commuter commute, as they are equally able to bill 35 cents per distance kilometer, but have no additional burden due to higher fuel prices . However, a maximum limit of 4500 euros applies to train drivers (equivalent to a daily commute distance of about 58 kilometers). Expenses beyond that will not be reimbursed.

The DIW sees it as critically as the Greens. "With this model, the immediate pressure to adapt, even those who could financially, not there," says Stefan Bach from DIW. Thus, the higher commuter flat rate would not only compensate for the additional costs of the new CO2 prices, but also create no incentive for multi-earners to give up large cars with high consumption.

Because according to a calculation of the DIW expert Bach for the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" is for example the driver of a Polo, with a consumption of 4.1 liters per 100 kilometers and low income (married, two children, together 20,000 euros to taxable annual income) , Relieved from the year 2021 overall, if he lives more than 28 kilometers away from work.

Mobility package as an alternative

A top earner (single, no child, 300,000 euros taxable annual income) will be relieved in the first year already from a distance of 25 kilometers - even if he drives a large BMW X7 SUV with a consumption of seven liters.

And here for the #Diesel that many commuters drive.
Tenor: Low-consumption vehicle also relieves low-wage earners with low tax rates,
with the high earners with the high tax rates also the # SUV driver

- Stefan Bach (@SBachTax) September 21, 2019

Over time, however, the burden of the gradual increase in the CO2 price burden increases so that the polo driver would be relieved in 2023 only from a distance of 77 kilometers. According to the DIW calculation, the good-earner will still be driving off the load zone from around 30 kilometers in 2023 - despite the fuel-intensive SUV.

"If you have a higher income, you can drive cars with a consumption of seven or eight liters, without having to worry about high additional costs," said Bach. SUV drivers who could afford it would have no incentive to switch to smaller cars. And a change of many drivers on the railway Bach also considers unlikely. He therefore proposes a mobility allowance per distance kilometer, which relieves all commuters equally regardless of their income.

The Greens now want to tighten the climate package of the government in the Bundesrat. "This climate protection law is definitely not enough to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, which is agreed internationally," said Green Party Chairman Annalena Baerbock. Her co-chief Robert Habeck had recently revealed knowledge gaps on the issue Penderpauschale and was criticized for his comments in a TV interview.

Source: spiegel

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