Trade unions have criticized the FDP’s push for tax incentives for overtime. “Crazy ideas like tax-free overtime are an invitation to either displace full-time work or to further increase the gender unequal distribution of work,” said the head of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Yasmin Fahimi, to the newspapers of the Funke media group. If you want to effectively combat the shortage of skilled workers, you should ensure that more parents can work full-time.

On Monday, the FDP proposed tax advantages for working overtime. In order to make individual performance worthwhile again, a limited number of overtime hours and paid overtime bonuses could be made tax-free, according to a resolution by the FDP Presidium, which also calls for tax incentives for foreign skilled workers. “For foreign employees, part of their gross wages could be made tax-free in the first three years,” it says.

Questioning work ethic is unrealistic

Fahimi said it was completely unrealistic to question the morale of employees. “Last year, more than 1.3 billion overtime hours were worked in Germany, well over half of which was unpaid. A huge pile of money has accumulated here in recent years, which employers are putting into their own pockets.”

Verdi boss Frank Werneke told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “Instead of making overtime and bonuses tax-free, it would make more sense if employers paid so much from the outset that overtime is attractive for employees and the state continues to generate income.” . Otherwise, the state’s revenue base will continue to erode.

Criticism from the Greens and the Left

Criticism also came from parliamentary groups in the Bundestag. “For reasons of tax fairness, we are (…) critical when people who do the same work are taxed differently depending on their origin,” said Sascha Müller, Green Party chairman in the Bundestag finance committee of the “Welt”.

According to “Welt”, the financial policy spokesman for the Left in the Bundestag, Christian Görke, describes the tax proposals as “outrageous”. Instead, an honest tax reform is needed. “Taxes down for the middle of society and taxes up for billionaires. This automatically makes the jobs of skilled workers more attractive.”