Germany's FDP Wants Tax Dropped to Join Government, Bild Reports

Germany’s Free Democratic Party will only join a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats if the country’s so-called solidarity surcharge is eliminated, Bild am Sonntag reported, citing an interview with party head Christian Lindner.

Dropping the tax is about the credibility of politicians, as well as reducing the burden on taxpayers, the FDP’s Lindner said, according to the newspaper.

The German government should cut taxes by more than 30 billion euros ($35.5 billion) a year, including 16 billion euros in relief from eliminating the solidarity surcharge, Bild cited Eric Schweitzer, president of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, as saying in a separate interview.

The solidarity surcharge was introduced in 1991 mainly to pay for German reunification, according to tax consultancy WW+KN.

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