German Budget

A Post-Brexit Spending Boost?

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (L) and Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble depart at the conclusion of a news conference at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany is being counted on to revive growth across the Continent, and is likely to face calls to boost government spending even more.

  • Facts


    • The German government said it would increase spending by 3.7 percent to €328.7 billion in 2017, an election year, in line with revenue gains.
    • Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is confident he can balance the budget in each of the next four years.
    • The government will spend €19 billion additionally in 2017 on infrastructure to deal with the influx of refugees.
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Wolfgang Schäuble can be happy he doesn’t have the problems of his British counterpart.

While Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, is busy adjusting his budget to keep business in Britain and stop the country from falling into recession, the German finance minister on Wednesday trumpeted a federal budget that will see spending rise steadily between now and 2020.

It’s the kind of budget Mr. Osborne would have once dreamed of: Germany intends to balance the federal budget for each of the next four years and bring its debt-to-GDP level below 60 percent by 2020. The government plans to increase spending by about 10 percent over the same time frame.

A major reason for the divergence: Mr. Osborne has Britain’s looming exit from the European Union to deal with, while Mr. Schäuble is expecting Germany’s economy to weather the Brexit storm without too much trouble.

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