Sunday, May 09, 2021
Sharper goals in the election manifesto
SPD insists on climate neutrality in 2045
SPD insists on climate neutrality in 2045
The Social Democrats want to get votes with ambitious climate targets in the upcoming federal election. In 2045 Germany should be “completely climate neutral” – as the current coalition is already planning. Furthermore, the unloved Hartz IV is to be replaced by a citizen’s money.
With the “future program” decided on at its party congress, the SPD is clearly differentiating itself from the previous coalition partner Union. Demands for more climate protection, a new citizen’s money, wealth tax and a speed limit of 130 on motorways stand for the pursuit of a more modern and ecological image in the federal election campaign.
Climate: The goals for climate neutrality and for reducing greenhouse gases are more ambitious than originally planned. This reflects the adjustments made in the federal government after the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court. Germany should be “completely climate neutral” by 2045 at the latest. By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 65 percent compared to 1990 levels. The party does not name a date for the coal phase-out, but the previously targeted end date of 2038 has been deleted. In the goal of converting the power supply completely to green electricity by 2040, only a “latest” was added.
“We have to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible,” it continues. The green electricity levy, with which every electricity customer pays for the expansion of renewable energies, is to be abolished by 2025. The federal government should then bear the costs of the EEG surcharge – through the income from the CO2 pricing started in 2021, for example for oil and gas. Social compensation – such as a per capita bonus – is intended to relieve citizens of additional costs. Heat pumps should reduce CO2 emissions in buildings – in five million houses by 2030.
Taxes: Low and middle incomes should be better off, while high incomes and assets are burdened more. The wealth tax, which has been suspended since 1997, is being reinstated, with a “uniform tax rate of one percent for very high wealth”. In the case of inheritance tax, there should be an “effective minimum taxation” of large business assets. From a taxable annual income of 250,000 euros (married people 500,000 euros), a surcharge of three percentage points is provided for the income tax. As in 2013, the SPD announces the abolition of spouse splitting. The SPD is sticking to the solidarity surcharge for top incomes. For companies, the tax deductibility of manager salaries is limited.
Debt: The SPD rejects the goal of a balanced budget without new loans (black zero). “We will ensure the financing of the priorities formulated in this government program,” it says. “To this end, we will use the constitutionally possible leeway for borrowing.” In this way, the debt brake in the Basic Law is indirectly accepted in principle.
Future: In terms of economic policy, the SPD relies on four future missions that Scholz presented at the beginning of February. Climate change, mobility, digitization and health care are central to this. The federal government should invest at least 50 billion euros every year. That would be at the level of the amounts planned in the federal government for the next few years.
Traffic: A speed limit of 130 km / h should apply on motorways. That protects the environment and reduces the number of accidents. By 2030, at least 15 million fully electric cars are to be on the road. Local public transport is to be expanded in a climate-neutral manner.
Job: The SPD wants to increase the statutory minimum wage of currently 9.50 euros to at least twelve euros. There are no longer any fixed-term fixed-term contracts for no reason. In addition, there should be a legal right to at least 24 days of mobile work (home office) per year. It should be easier to declare collective agreements generally binding for an industry.
Social: The SPD wants to strengthen the welfare state. There is nothing in the program on the level of social security contributions, which the federal government temporarily capped at 40 percent of gross wages. A citizen’s allowance is intended to replace the Hartz IV basic security. It remains to be seen whether this will result in higher payments to those affected. In the first two years of receiving state aid, the property and adequacy of the apartment size should not be checked.
Pension: The statutory pension is at the heart of old-age provision, with a pension level of at least 48 percent of an average wage. All employed persons should be included in the pension insurance “in the long term”, including civil servants and the self-employed. The public servants are assured that “the overall level of their old-age insurance will not be reduced”.
Living: In tense residential areas, “a temporary rent moratorium” should apply. The rents should then be increased in line with the inflation rate. It is necessary to build 100,000 new social housing annually. The SPD wants to abolish the tax exemption that has been in effect after ten years for capital gains on property not used by the company itself.
Families / care: The SPD wants to promote the reconciliation of family and work more strongly – through improvements in parental allowance, a permanent doubling of the childhood illness days to 20 days per parent and through a new family care period with up to 15 months of wage replacement for caring for a relative. A basic child security is intended to replace the previous benefits such as child benefit and child allowance.
bless you: “We will introduce citizens’ insurance,” announced the SPD. In addition: “We want to limit the return orientation in the health care system. Profits that are generated from funds of the solidarity community must at least mostly flow back into the health system.” What this means in practice remains open.
Europe: The SPD wants a “solidary and sovereign” European Union (EU). The goal is a fundamental strengthening. This includes a common investment policy: “A crisis-proof EU must be able to act in terms of fiscal policy and develop into a real fiscal, economic and social union.” The EU’s financing is to be “permanently fairer and more independent”: “For this important step in integration, we will use the taxation of large digital corporations, a CO2 limit levy and new revenues from emissions trading.”