Finance Minister Christian Lindner has clearly rejected the CDU proposal for a reform of the top tax rate. CDU leader Friedrich Merz discussed at the weekend that the top tax rate only applies to higher incomes and could therefore be increased.

“Mr. Merz’s calculation doesn’t add up,” said FDP boss Lindner in the ARD “report from Berlin”. The finance minister calculated that the top tax rate would have to be increased from the current 42 percent to 57 percent if it only applied to incomes above 80,000 euros. It currently applies to an income of 63,000 euros.

“That would really strangulate our economic development,” said Lindner. “And by the way, it would also be unfair: Having to give more of what you work to the state than you are allowed to keep has nothing to do with a social market economy.”

CDU demands relief for the middle class

CDU leader Friedrich Merz told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper”: “Even people who earn just a little more than average experience an enormous burden from duties and taxes. We have to flatten the burden curve, because performance has to pay off. Whether If the top tax rate is then 42 or 45 percent, it doesn’t matter.” Relief for the middle class is important.

CDU General Secretary Carsten Linnemann also told the German Press Agency that it was simply not fair that the middle class paid the top tax rate. “Fueled by the high inflation rates, tax justice in Germany is getting into trouble. The central element of this tax reform must be broad relief for the center of this country.”

Germany “urgently” needs a major tax reform. For this, the so-called middle-class belly must first be flattened. The top tax rate should take effect much later than around 63,000 euros. If it were only raised at 80,000, 90,000 or 100,000 euros, there would be relief for the broad middle of this country, said Linnemann.

Top tax rate and rich tax rate

Then it would also be completely irrelevant whether the so-called “wealthy tax rate” was 45 percent or 46 percent or 47 percent. But the tax rate for the rich is different than the top tax rate. It is 45 percent and takes effect from a taxable income of around 280,000 euros.

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert also spoke out in favor of a reform of the top tax rate: “The SPD is fighting for income tax reform to be revenue-neutral. We want to relieve 95 percent of employees in the state and, in return, moderately increase the top tax rate for the top five percent The top tax rate would therefore only apply to significantly higher incomes than has been the case so far,” he told the “Tagesspiegel”.