Inflation compensation: Lindner wants tax relief of over 10 billion

Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to relieve citizens of the high inflation with a tax cut of more than ten billion euros.

Inflation compensation: Lindner wants tax relief of over 10 billion

Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to relieve citizens of the high inflation with a tax cut of more than ten billion euros. "Employees and low earners, pensioners and the self-employed, students with taxable part-time jobs and above all families benefit," wrote the FDP politician in a guest article for the "FAZ". In addition to an adjustment of the benchmarks in the income tax rate, child benefit and the child allowance are also to be increased.

According to information from the German Press Agency from ministry circles, the so-called Inflation Compensation Act provides for child benefit to increase in two stages and also be standardized. In the coming year, there will be 227 euros per month for the first, second and third child. From the fourth child, 250 euros are added to the account. In 2024, the rates for the first to third child are to be raised again - to 233 euros.

The basic allowance should be increased

At the same time, Lindner's draft provides for an increase in the basic allowance, i.e. the income up to which no tax has to be paid. The Finance Minister wants to raise this limit from the current EUR 10,347 to EUR 10,632 in the coming year and EUR 10,932 in 2024.

Other key values ​​of the tax rate will also be shifted in order to compensate for the effect of the cold progression. This is a type of creeping tax increase, when salary increases are eaten up by inflation but still result in higher taxation. Higher taxes then apply, although purchasing power does not increase in real terms.

"A tax system that taxes people who are already suffering from high prices is not fair," wrote Lindner in the "FAZ". Eliminating this is "not a patronizing act, but necessary in several respects". 48 million taxpayers benefited from his plans.

In order to mitigate the effect, the top tax rate should in future only apply to higher incomes - specifically at 61,972 euros in the coming year and at 63,515 euros in 2024. Lindner does not want to touch the limit for the even higher tax rate for the wealthy.

Greens: Top earners benefit the most

There is already widespread criticism of the plans: in absolute terms, top earners benefited more from Lindner's relief than low earners. The Greens in the Bundestag therefore consider the plans to be socially unbalanced.

"High and highest income groups would receive more than three times as much as people with low incomes, who actually need the relief most urgently," said parliamentary group leader Andreas Audretsch of the German Press Agency. In addition, people with very small incomes would not be relieved at all because they paid no income tax below the basic allowance. The financial policy spokeswoman, Katharina Beck, made a similar statement. "It would be the other way around: strong shoulders would have to carry more than low-income ones and not be disproportionately relieved," she told the editorial network Germany.

In fact, Lindner's plans have a greater percentage effect on low incomes, but in absolute figures people with high incomes benefit more clearly. A taxpayer with taxable income of 20,000 euros is to be relieved of 115 euros. With an income of 60,000 euros, the relief according to figures from the Ministry of Finance is already 471 euros. With even higher incomes, they remain stable at 479 euros and do not rise any further.

FDP rejects criticism

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai dismissed the Greens' criticism as unfounded. The adjustment aims at lower and middle incomes and lowers "the tax burden of the hard-working middle". The relief amount is capped for top earners. "The relief is fair and necessary so that people benefit from a wage or salary increase despite the high inflation and do not have to pay a higher tax burden," said Djir-Sarai of the German Press Agency.

The Federal Statistical Office will be announcing details on the development of consumer prices in July this Wednesday. According to preliminary data, the annual inflation rate for the month was 7.5 percent. In June, consumer prices rose by 7.6 percent year-on-year and by 7.9 percent in May.