The sound of conservative politicians clamoring for tax cuts is a sure sign that Germany is entering an electoral campaign.
The next general election will take place just over a year from now, in fall 2017. Last spring, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, a prominent member of Chancellor Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union party, was the first to float the idea of tax relief after the election.
He suggested the state relinquish about €12 billion in annual tax revenue, roughly two-thirds of the budget surplus that Germany achieved last year.
A few other center-right politicians eagerly joined the discussion, with some coming up with significantly less conservative estimates, especially after the government statistics office announced last week that Germany recorded a higher-than-expected €18.5 billion budget surplus in the first half of 2016. CDU economists and representatives of the country’s robust network of mid-sized companies demanded the party include a €35 billion tax rebate in its electoral manifesto. The party is expected to announce a final decision at its party conference in December at the latest.