Finance Minister Christian Lindner has postponed a government decision on next year’s budget for the second time as the coalition’s three parties remain split on the issue.
While the government was set to decide on the state budget for 2024 on 21 June, this deadline is “untenable,” Lindner told ARD on Thursday.
In March, the finance minister had already been forced to postpone the definition of key benchmarks for the budget after the three governing parties – Lindner’s liberal, business-friendly FDP, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens – failed to find common ground.
While several ministries are asking for increased budgets to implement new policies and ramp up public investments, Lindner insists on keeping public finances tightly in check, in line with the debt limit enshrined in the country’s constitution.
Lindner and his FDP have also categorically ruled out imposing new or higher taxes to help increase government revenue.
The situation has also been complicated further by fresh tax estimates published on Thursday, which predict that Germany’s 2024 tax revenue will be significantly lower than previously thought.
According to Lindner, this is mainly due to tax relief measures the government put in place to help cushion the blow of high inflation, which he said will cost the state around €34 billion.
The government “is keeping its promise that the state will not get rich off of inflation,” he stressed.
(Julia Dahm | EURACTIV.de)
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