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Majority Of Germans Anticipate Tax Rises By 2017

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

23 December 2013

The vast majority of Germans do not expect Germany's incoming Grand Coalition Government to honor its pledge not to use the tax lever in the new legislative period.

Within the framework of its coalition agreement, the black-red alliance of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD), vowed that neither taxes nor state debt will rise during the new Government's term in office.

According to a YouGov Deutschland representative survey of 1,037 individuals, 71 percent anticipated that the Government will opt to raise taxes over the course of the 2013-2017 period.

YouGov Deutschland revealed that 79 percent of SPD voters predicted that taxes will increase, compared to just 63 percent of CDU voters. Only 14 percent of individuals were convinced that the Grand Coalition will not tighten the fiscal screw in the new legislative term, while 15 percent were undecided.

Somewhat surprisingly, however, taxation did not rank as a major issue of concern for those questioned, despite the resounding sentiment that taxes will rise over the next four years.

Indeed, of those surveyed, most said that the Government should focus instead on pensions and old-age poverty as a matter of priority (61 percent), followed by employment (39 percent), electricity prices (38 percent), and education (31 percent). Featuring way down the list of priorities for German citizens were taxes (25 percent), debt (22 percent), care (18 percent), Europe (17 percent), data protection (12 percent), and, last but not least, transport infrastructure (11 percent).

Rather ironically, and not at all reflecting the wishes of the people, plans to secure the future financing of transport infrastructure in Germany, via the introduction of a car toll for foreign motorists, formed the heart of the CSU's election campaign. CSU leader Horst Seehofer even threatened to block any coalition accord which did not make provision for such a charge.

TAGS: individuals | tax | pensions | education | Germany | Europe

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