Global Policy Forum

German Ecotaxes Cause

Ends Daily
January 11, 2000

Germany's main opposition party has launched a campaign against the government's programme of ecological tax reform, which it plans to roll out in a series of state elections due next month. The centre-right alliance of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Socialist Union (CSU) wants to make the public aware of how "wrong the government's policy is," CDU/CSU budget policy spokesman Dietrich Austermann told ENDS Daily.

A member of parliament from the northern state of Schleswig Holstein, Mr Austermann said that the CDU/CSU believed that the ecotax policy was wrong because revenue raised was not going to reduce pension contributions as the government had promised. He further alleged that the measure would have zero environmental benefits, while penalising agriculture, and environmentally-friendly wind energy and rail transport.

According to German press reports, national railway chief Hartmut Mehdorn estimates that the tax burden on electricity used by the railways will increase by 100% by 2003, while taxes on petrol and diesel will go up by only 29% and 44% respectively.

The CDU/CSU has ruled out any legal challenge to the tax programme although the law implementing its second stage could be tested in the courts by German hauliers.



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