IIn the coalition dispute over savings in parental allowance, SPD chairman Lars Klingbeil proposes instead the abolition of spouse splitting for new marriages. “We are finally getting rid of marriage splitting. This would put an end to the antiquated tax model that favors the classic distribution of roles between men and women. And the state would save money,” Klingbeil told the editorial network Germany on Monday.
Spouse splitting describes the procedure according to which married couples and life partnerships are taxed who do not choose individual assessment. The joint income is halved, the income tax due is calculated and the tax liability is then doubled. This is particularly useful for couples where one earns a lot and the other a little. According to the Federal Agency for Civic Education, this will cost the state 20 billion euros a year in 2020.
Klingbeil: Parental allowance is not a social benefit
Klingbeil said: “I am in favor of higher incomes shouldering more and taking more responsibility. But questions about distribution are clarified through tax policy, not through parental allowance,” said Klingbeil. The parental allowance is not a social benefit, but should motivate men to take on more responsibility in the family.
So far, parental allowance has been given to couples whose joint taxable income is less than 300,000 euros. As part of the budget planning for the coming year and the cuts in spending to limit debts pushed by Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) is planning to lower the limit to 150,000 euros. This had been controversial.
The FDP criticized the proposed change. FDP Vice-President Johannes Vogel said on Sunday evening on the TV talk show “Anne Will”: “I think it’s wrong if we just shave off the parental allowance with the lawn mower, even in an area where we’re talking about engineers, doctors. He supported a proposal from the FDP to require couples to align their parental months more closely – if this does not happen, only one partner should receive parental allowance. In addition, Paus also “still has a certain savings potential in the area of the numerous funding programs,” said Vogel.
Paus immediately rejected this on the show. “If that works with the partnership, then that’s not a cut,” she said. “That’s why I can’t suggest it either.” According to her, alternative savings options would only be cuts in the advance maintenance payment for women living alone whose partner does not meet his payment obligations, and in the child allowance. She doesn’t want either, as Paus made clear. She is already making cuts in the free programs, so there will be fewer opportunities for voluntary service.
“I’m open to better suggestions – but I took a look at it and from all these bad variants I came up with what I think is the best variant,” explained Paus with a view to the cancellation of parental allowance for high earners. “That’s how I’m going to bring it in now.”
In view of the coalition dispute that has once again been openly held on the subject, Vogel made it clear that he expects public disputes to continue in the future. He admitted that the style of the coalition had to be improved. But: “Perhaps we also have to get used to the fact that debates are more public in terms of content – one is style, the other content – than in coalitions of the old kind.” a good result stands”.