Christian Democratic Union of Germany (Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands, CDU). Largely sourced from INTELLINEWS.
1. Lowering national unemployment to below three per cent by 2025, which would mean nearly half the current rate of 5.5 per cent, or 2.5 million people. Opposition parties have persistently argued that these figures hide the true numbers, since millions of people working so-called mini-jobs are still dependent on state benefits.
2. Tax cuts which would include raising the top income tax bracket to 60,000 euros a year, rather than the current 52,000 euros. This is a considerably more modest increase than the proposal by Merkel’s main rivals, the Social Democrats, SPD, who would raise the top income tax bracket to 76,000 euros – and raise the top rate itself from 42 per cent to 45 per cent. The CDU only want to tax the “super-rich” (single people earning over 232,000 euros) the 45-per cent rate.
3. Phasing out the “solidarity fee” for the former East Germany beginning in 2020. This extra tax, imposed in the wake of reunification specifically to boost the economy in the “new states” in eastern Germany, has long rankled taxpayers’ rights groups. Like the SPD, the CDU has now promised to phase it out – though it remains unclear exactly when it will disappear completely. On Monday, the CDU did not repeat a previous promise to phase it out by 2030.
4. Increase in child allowance. Child allowance will be raised from the current level of 192 euros to 217 euros per month. On top of this, the CDU wants to raise the tax abatement for dependent children from 7,356 euros to 8,820 euros.
5. Help for first-time property buyers. Families buying property for the first time are to receive an extra state benefit of 1,200 euros per year per child.
6. An extra 15,000 police officers to be hired across Germany, including both state and federal police forces.
7. Partial dual nationality concessions. Another issue that has dogged the conservative wing of the CDU will be resolved with a compromise: First-generation migrants and their children will be allowed to hold two passports – but following generations will have to choose a nationality.
Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD)
1. More Investments
Germany is doing well. Our success is directly linked to the success of Europe. We want to take the lead in helping Europe to overcome the present phase of weak economic growth. To achieve this, we are investing in an advanced infrastructure, fast internet and research. We are providing new prospects for good and secure jobs for young people.
2. Progressive and fair
In the long term, Germany and Europe can only be successful if justice and equality prevails – if people are paid fair wages everywhere and if everyone benefits from the progress made. We shall ensure fair taxation. Companies should be obliged to pay taxes in the countries where they make profits instead of where taxation is most favourable for them. We do not want the local baker to pay taxes than a good deal of international corporations.
3. Ensure Peace
We need Europe as a force for peace. A Europe that strives towards disarmament, détente and the peaceful solution of conflicts. A Europe that combats hunger and poverty globally and stands up for fair and just development and human rights all around the world. This is the best way to ensure peace in our country.
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