“First work out the scope”: Lindner does not want to loosen the savings grip

“First develop scope”
Lindner does not want to loosen the savings grip

After the budget is before the budget: Even before the budget for 2024 is presented, Minister of Finance Lindner points out the limited possibilities in the years to come. Even his own plans for economic stimulus are more cautious. Consolidation continues to dominate everything.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner has committed the traffic light government to a long austerity course. “It will remain difficult,” said the FDP leaderHandelsblatt“With a view to the next budget negotiations and announced that it would identify holes in the financial planning that will last until 2027: “So that nobody can overlook the size of the challenge.” For projects in the future, the traffic light must “first work out leeway,” he continued. “If you want to finance something new, you have to say where the money is going to come from. Say what should no longer be financed.”

In addition, the budget was only the start of consolidation. Now it must be a matter of “focusing the budget more on education, innovation, investments and growth impulses, despite increasing defense spending, high interest rates and social security expenditures,” said Lindner.

In the financial planning for 2025, he estimated “two billion euros” as a “note item” for the basic child security, which was controversial in the traffic light,” said Lindner. Family Minister Lisa Paus had originally asked for twelve billion euros. Lindner also warned Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir against canceling the agricultural diesel subsidy. Özdemir should “carefully consider whether the budgets of the countries should be relieved by burdening the farms”. That is “also a question of competitiveness”.

“Politics must change fundamentally”

Lindner also held out the prospect of gradually expanding planned tax incentives for companies over the next few years. In the summer, Lindner wants to pass a “tax reform law” that should include tax incentives for companies that invest in climate technologies. Due to the difficult budgetary situation, this “investment premium” will initially be smaller than originally planned. “Even if we start small, it should be expanded,” he said. According to the information provided, the traffic light coalition is proceeding in a similar way with regard to tax research subsidies, which were introduced by the grand coalition and which Lindner also wants to expand.

The FDP boss considers the incentives necessary because he sees Germany as a business location under threat. “The appreciation for German technology is still high. But there is skepticism as to why we have increasingly tied ourselves up in recent years,” said Lindner. “A lot of things have to change fundamentally compared to how politics was done in the last ten years.” If it were up to him, the economy would be immediately exempted from the solidarity surcharge. “That would be the fastest way to close locational disadvantages in the tax area.” However, there is currently no majority in the traffic light coalition for this.

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