"It wasn't my suggestion": Merz feels misunderstood when it comes to Bundeswehr solos

In a committed speech, CDU leader Merz criticized the federal government's Ukraine policy, but also the jointly decided special fund of the Bundeswehr.

"It wasn't my suggestion": Merz feels misunderstood when it comes to Bundeswehr solos

In a committed speech, CDU leader Merz criticized the federal government's Ukraine policy, but also the jointly decided special fund of the Bundeswehr. In his opinion, however, his comments on alternative financing are misunderstood.

Union faction leader Friedrich Merz emphasized that he had not proposed a new solidarity surcharge in the debate about the billion-euro package for the Bundeswehr. "That was expressly not my suggestion, and you can't interpret it that way," said Merz on ARD. He was reacting to criticism from the traffic light coalition about his statements in the Bundestag on the planned 100 billion euro package for the Bundeswehr, which is to be financed with debt.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner wrote on Twitter: "Friedrich Merz's thought that it would have been better to decide on a tax increase for the Bundeswehr is disturbing. People are suffering from inflation. A new one or higher

The existing solidarity surcharge was canceled under the previous black-red coalition for around 90 percent of the payers, the rest have to continue paying. Merz argued on ARD that he had said to Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Bundestag: "You see, if you had done it consistently, as suggested by the CDU/CSU in the previous coalition, namely to abolish him completely, then you would have today we may have a financing instrument in hand to avoid this debt (...) and to possibly finance it today with a solidarity surcharge." That was the description of an "actual state" and "not a suggestion for the introduction of a solo".

Merz had literally said in the Bundestag on Wednesday: "If you hadn't refused at the time for ideological reasons to completely abolish the solos - you would have today with this instrument (...) an instrument with which we could probably pay the new debts for the Bundeswehr special fund would not have had to absorb it." Scholz could have made the proposal to levy a solidarity surcharge on income tax and corporate tax for the Bundeswehr. "Then today's generation would have paid for what is actually the task of today's generation."

Scholz then criticized that Merz had proposed a soli, i.e. a tax increase for almost all citizens, to pay for the better equipment of the Bundeswehr. "What a strange idea," said the Chancellor.

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