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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Dear President, thank you for the highlight.


Colleagues! Dear listeners! When we anchored the debt brake in our constitution over ten years ago, we had a debt ratio of 82.4 percent in Germany. We have since worked our way down to a debt ratio of 59.8 percent in 2019 – through economic growth, through the work of many in this country who have rolled up their sleeves and brought this country forward, but also through the fact that we are using the debt brake have an overview of the expenses.

To all those who criticize the debt brake today and are demanding additional expenditure – Mr Kindler, for example, he has called for measures over the past ten years that would have burdened the budget beyond the debt brake -:

(Christian Dürr [FDP]: That’s right!)

If we had done all of that, the corona crisis would have started with a debt ratio of 100 percent.

(Christian Dürr [FDP]: That’s how it is!)

In no way would we have had the leeway to invest in measures to deal with the situation now.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the FDP – Sven-Christian Kindler [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: nonsense!)

We did it right. That is why I think it is absurd to discuss the debt brake now. At that time, of course, we also factored in exceptional situations, with repayment in each case. And that is exactly what we do at the end of this household consultation: We are investing today and will already pay off the debts in this generation and not in the next, Mr Kindler. That is our common task. We do this because we owe it to families, businesses and communities. We owe it to the families because they bore a large part of the burdens of the corona crisis. Mr Bülow, I cannot tell where you got the information that the family budget has been cut. You have probably forgotten section 60, in which child benefit and child allowance are budgeted, which we are now increasing for the second time in a row.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)

With the Family Relief Act I, we have already relieved families and citizens of 12 billion euros. In the coming week we will add another 7 billion euros. Within two years we have increased the child benefit by 25 euros per child per month; we’ve never done that before. That was necessary – by the way, even without Corona -; because it relieves families and gives them a little leeway. At the same time, we launched and continued to finance the investment programs for childcare, all-day care, social housing and child benefit. We have doubled the allowance for single parents, and we will introduce further measures with the annual tax law.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)

The Family Relief Act not only exempts the constitutionally required subsistence level, but also exempts citizens from the cold progression for the eighth time in a row. 2.2 billion euros are earmarked for this.

Due to a calculation error or an estimation error in the Ministry of Finance, the cold progression in the present draft law is compensated too much by 1.6 billion euros. But we will not offset this error. We will give these 1.6 billion euros back to the citizens so that they can counter-finance the measures to cope with the crisis, which caused them additional costs, whether in the home office or via the commuter allowance. We have decided on behalf of our CDU / CSU parliamentary group: These 1.6 billion euros will not be cut, but passed on to families and citizens.

We owe it to companies; because the only thing that is really better than saving is to stimulate the economy so that we can get back to the tax revenues from before the crisis as quickly as possible.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)

That also worked well during the financial market crisis. We will do that again now.

We started with the Covid laws with the VAT reduction. Mr Dürr, you are known for your very brisk speeches. When I consider that you spent 80 percent of your speaking time on Covid explaining that the VAT cut is nonsense: you would have shown greatness if you had simply said today: I was wrong;

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD – Christian Dürr [FDP]: No, that’s nonsense!)

because you were wrong.

(Christian Dürr [FDP]: Your economic institutes say that was nonsense!)

Investments in higher capital goods have increased massively. Every statistician will tell you: Investments in high-priced products have increased because of the reduction in VAT.

(Christian Dürr [FDP]: Everyone says it’s nonsense, except for Antje Tillmann!)

– Except you, maybe. The statistics are very clear. The trade confirms that: The VAT cut helps.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD – Christian Dürr [FDP]: Just ask the economic institutes!)

What also helps are the measures in the Covid Tax Act, for example loss offsetting, which we have improved for 2020 and 2021; Money that we give back to companies so that they can invest this year so that they can produce economic growth and thus pay additional taxes in the future that will benefit the federal budget.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU – Christian Dürr [FDP]: Ridiculous, Ms. Tillmann, you know that!)

We initiated the declining balance depreciation. We have improved the crediting of trade tax. We improved the reinvestment deadlines because we knew that companies might not be able to invest until next year, and we massively increased research funding.

Dear colleague Stark-Watzinger, you claim that the rate has decreased in the education and research area. Of course, this also has to do with the fact that we give a considerable amount of funds for educational measures to the federal states and municipalities and that these funds appear in their investment quota and no longer in the federal budget. These are simply budgetary principles with the corresponding effects on the federal budget. In fact, education spending across Germany has increased by far and not decreased, as you have just shown.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and MPs from the SPD – acclamation from MP Bettina Stark-Watzinger [FDP])

There is also a whole series of individual programs such as the “INNO-KOM” program, the IGF and the innovation program for business models and pioneering solutions. In this budget, we are investing heavily in the future in order to acquire future tax income and thus to ensure repayments also in the future.

But there is still a lot to do in the corporate sector. We have been waiting for the ATAD directive to be implemented for two years. We need to improve the retention regime; this has already been mentioned several times.

(Applause from the delegate Katja Hessel [FDP])

We want to reduce the interest rate for tax back payments and adjust it to the current interest rate level.

(Applause from the delegate Katja Hessel [FDP])

And we need a reform of the additional taxation so that German companies will be competitive in the years to come and pay taxes in Germany and not anywhere else.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU as well as from Katja Hessel [FDP])

We are investing massively in a third area with this budget; these are the municipalities. Not only that we compensate 100 percent of the business tax losses together with the federal states, but we also compensate 100 percent of the losses in local public transport. We have increased participation in the cost of accommodation by 25 percent, to 11 billion euros for 2021 alone. We reimburse the expenses for the basic security; they rise to 8.3 billion euros. We invest in urban development and much more.

We spend money where people feel it, where families live. After this crisis, the municipalities are well positioned for the future thanks to federal aid. We will keep an eye on them and see if there are any further changes to be made. As you can see, this is a balanced benchmark between investments and relief for the citizens.

But at the end I say quite frankly: We have to start to stop spending money. We have to keep the repayment as we agreed. 17 years with repayment scheduled is a long time. We must be lucky enough that the next catastrophe, crisis or difficulty won’t come in the next 17 years.

(Peter Boehringer [AfD]: The EU has 40 years of repayment!)

That is why I say to all the citizens – I hope that we will support it together in this House -: in future we will no longer be able to fulfill every wish. But, dear citizens, do not be fooled into thinking that this budget would have to be consolidated with a property levy or a tax increase for people who earn more than EUR 200,000. We’re talking about 3 billion to 4 billion euros. That is a small amount in relation to our problem; he won’t solve it.

I have a bit of a concern: announcing the tax hike for a few before the election is the tax hike for everyone after the election. And that’s not the way we set out to go.

Thank you very much.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI