Opposition angers Merkel over tax law
BERLIN - Reuters
Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the opposition for blocking her government’s efforts to cut income taxes by 6 billion euros. AP photoGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the center-left opposition for blocking her government’s efforts to cut income taxes by 6 billion euros, telling a German newspaper those parties will have to explain that to voters in next year’s election.
Merkel, seeking a third term in September, also found fault with Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens in a newspaper interview for thwarting a deal with Switzerland to tax assets stashed by Germans in Swiss banks although without revealing their names.
Taking a rare swipe at the opposition whose support she has needed to get parliamentary approval for a number of eurozone rescue measures, Merkel told the Braunschweiger Zeitung it was hard to fathom that the SPD and Greens had rejected tax cuts that would have benefited middle- and lower-income wage earners.
“It’s just not fair and it’s actually incomprehensible,” Merkel said, according to an excerpt released ahead of publication today. She added that the SPD and Greens would have to explain the veto of tax cuts to the voters.
Merkel’s center-right coalition suffered a defeat last week when center-left lawmakers in a mediation committee stopped a plan to cut income taxes by 6 billion euros, seen by analysts as an election-year gift to voters.
The SPD and Greens argued there was no scope for tax cuts, especially because they would reduce revenues to states and towns.