Germany’s Got The Money
Isn’t it about time that Germany’s long suffering taxpayers got a bit of relief? As with much of Northern Europe, there is a consensus in Germany that if you want some of the best and most efficient public services in the world, then you have to pay for them through taxation. Even so, it is no secret that Germany is one of the world’s most-taxed nations, and yet the Government has steadfastly refused to offer even the most modest relief despite state coffers seemingly filled to the point of bursting by successive increases in tax revenues, including, as official figures show, an almost 5 percent year-on-year rise in September 2014. The Government’s stance on tax cuts was reaffirmed by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble back in May this year when he said that, apparently, the Government doesn’t have enough fiscal room to even raise income tax thresholds, a perennial gripe of German taxpayers. The Government’s absolute priority, said Schäuble, is balancing the budget by 2015. And when you look around the eurozone and see the basket case that various parts of it are becoming economically, I suppose you can’t blame the German Government for this fiscally conservative stance. It was Germany after all that financed a substantial chunk of the Greek bail-out, and recent economic data from the Eurozone must have sent a few shivers down the spines of the Finance Ministry’s top brass. Then again, perhaps releasing the fiscal brake a little might actually help a Germany economy slipping into stasis.