Should the state burden companies that make a lot of money from war and crisis with a so-called excess profit tax? Criticism of a corresponding proposal comes from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the FDP.
Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - The Ministry of Economic Affairs in Baden-Württemberg rejects stronger government action against energy companies that are making high profits as a result of the Ukraine war. A spokeswoman for department head Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut (CDU) said in Stuttgart the German Press Agency: "Tax law does not distinguish between "good" and "bad" profits." A higher profit of the energy and mineral oil companies already leads to a higher tax burden under the current law. In addition, in the event of such a tax, a large number of questions would arise: "The mere question of a clear and legally secure definition of "excess gain" is not trivial."
Finance Minister Danyal Bayaz and Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (both Green) initially did not comment on request. The Green Federal Chairwoman Ricarda Lang had campaigned for this in the past. At the prime ministers' conference, the states had agreed to "ask the federal government to take regulatory measures to prevent further speculation in oil, gas and electricity," Berlin's governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) said. In addition, corresponding price increases of the past few weeks and months would have to be checked under antitrust law.
Bremen had announced that it would submit an application to the Federal Council on June 10 with the aim of imposing a temporary special tax on so-called excess profits made by mineral companies as a result of price jumps caused by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. The federal government is asked to develop a proposal for a legal basis to levy a special tax for the year 2022, said Bremen Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD).
FDP country chief Michael Theurer said: "The proposal to introduce an excess profit tax comes at an inopportune time." In an international comparison, Germany is the highest tax country. A tax on excess profits in the energy sector could dangerously slow down the urgently needed expansion of renewable energies. "The sanctioning of anti-competitive behavior and illegitimate profits remains important, but is a matter for the Federal Cartel Office. Tax policy is simply the wrong instrument for this."