Italy and Britain are among those planning to introduce windfall taxes this year on companies in the energy sector that have benefited greatly from tight fuel supplies, as coffers government have emptied during the pandemic and the costs of housing the poorest in society have increased.
“For me, many things, if not everything, speak against a possible excessive profit tax when I think about it,” Minister Christian Lindner of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) told state broadcaster ZDF.
“It would mean that we would make our tax system arbitrary,” he said as part of the broadcaster’s summer interview series with politicians.
In May, Britain introduced a windfall tax of 25% on the profits of oil and gas producers to help fund household relief.
Mr Lindner argued that vaccine producers were rightly reaping high profits because their risks had been high, and that if electricity supplies are tight as they are now, higher prices were the consequence. correct to guide market reactions.
Mr Lindner referred to his initiative published on Sunday at European Union level to try to waive value added tax on a new gas levy, which Germany will announce on Monday, to spread energy costs more evenly. additional.
“We do not want – and must ensure that the state does not benefit – financially from this solidarity levy”, he declared.
He added that he would stick to what he sees as tight budget spending as much as possible so as not to stoke inflation further.
Other members of Germany’s ruling three-party coalition, however, take a different view.
While Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats says it would be difficult to impose windfall taxes, Economics Minister Robert Habeck of the Greens has repeatedly demanded that “unearned profits and by chance “serve society, not individuals.