Scholz rules out tax hikes to reduce inflation

Chancellor Olaf Scholz currently sees no opportunity to raise taxes to spread the burden of inflation more evenly. “We don’t have a legislative majority for tax increases,” the SPD politician told ZDF’s “Maybrit Illner” program on Thursday.

“It’s something where different beliefs exist,” he added, referring to coalition partner FDP. He said he was himself in favor of a fairer tax system, as was also on the SPD’s platform for last year’s federal election.

SPD and Green politicians are calling on businesses and the wealthy to bear a greater share of the burden of the current crisis. In particular, there is talk of a tax on excess profits for oil companies, which benefit greatly from high energy prices.

More recently, SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert and Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt came out in favor of it in “Der Spiegel” this weekend. However, there are also calls for a wealth tax or an increase in inheritance tax.

The FDP, however, categorically rejects tax increases. “Given the fragile economic development, such debates are completely counterproductive. There is a threat of a downward spiral of recession and increased burdens,” Secretary General Bijan Djir-Sarai told dpa at the start. weekdays only.

Despite growing economic problems in the country, Scholz called for maintaining solidarity with Ukraine for as long as needed. “I believe that we can always act only with the support of citizens,” he said. “But I think it will be possible for a very long time and we can maintain solidarity with Ukraine from Germany for as long as necessary.”

Germany, he said, is also committed to this solidarity for itself, as democracy and the rule of law are defended in Ukraine against Russian aggressors. “We can’t accept a country invading its neighbor and saying, I’m stealing a piece of this territory, it’s mine now.”

Scholz defended the sanctions imposed on Russia. Politicians from left-wing parties and the AfD had recently called for the lifting of punitive measures against Russia or the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in order to avoid an energy emergency.

There are fears that Russia will completely cut off gas supplies to Germany as early as July. In the wake of the war in Ukraine, the prices of energy, but also of foodstuffs, for example, have risen considerably.

Scholz also criticized the EU green label for investments in certain gas and nuclear power plants. “I always thought it was wrong,” he said. He said the federal government of the SPD, Greens and FDP voted against, but was unable to prevent the settlement.

They then made sure, he said, “that it still fits us halfway.” Scholz underlined: “In Germany, we completely agree that nuclear energy is not green.

In the European Parliament, a majority supported the eco-label project on Wednesday. More specifically, it is a complementary legal act to the so-called EU taxonomy. It is a classification system designed to direct private investment towards sustainable economic activities to help combat climate change.

It is relevant for companies because it could influence investors’ investment decisions and thus have an impact on project financing costs, for example. Investors must also be able to avoid investing in sectors of the economy that are harmful to the climate.

Environmentalists had urged MEPs to vote against the new legislation ahead of the vote. Among other things, they criticize the fact that greenhouse gases are emitted during the production of energy with natural gas. In the case of nuclear power, it is above all the waste, but also any accidents, which are considered problematic.

Proponents, on the other hand, point to the need for transitional technologies and the fact that liquefied gas, for example from the United States, or hydrogen can also be used to run gas-fired power plants.

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