The SPD is being driven by the dwindling voter favor. Their latest idea is the reintroduction of the wealth tax. This is obviously to sharpen the left-wing profile.
At first glance, this demand seems quite justified. Germany is one of the few countries within the OECD that does not levy a wealth tax.
However, this tax should not be viewed in isolation. Income tax also plays an important role here, as wealth is usually created from income. However, the tax rates for income tax are among the highest in Germany compared to the other OECD countries. For example, the average income tax rate for a family with two children and two earners is 39%. The OECD average here is only 28% (single households: 49.5% compared to 36% in the OECD).
So if one demands the reintroduction of wealth tax, one should or must also reduce income tax. This would make it easier for families – especially against the background of negative interest rates – to build up their own wealth or to build up private old-age provision. When introducing a wealth tax, some thought should also be given to allowances and corporate assets so that Germany does not lose competitiveness as a business location.
Against the background of intergenerational justice, wealth tax may be an important issue. However, due to its complex effects on society, it is not suitable for political quick shots.