The traffic light coalition wants to stimulate the weakening economy with billions in relief for companies. The opposition voted unanimously in the Bundestag against the so-called Growth Opportunities Act. Criticism also comes from the countries.
The Bundestag has decided on measures to get the German economy going. The so-called Growth Opportunities Act of the Traffic Light Coalition provides tax relief for companies until 2028 – amounting to around seven billion euros annually.
A key point of the package of measures is a bonus for investments in climate protection. 15 percent of companies’ expenses for energy efficiency measures should be subsidized as direct financial support. Tax incentives are also planned to stimulate struggling housing construction. Additional tax incentives for more research are also planned, and approval procedures are also to be accelerated.
According to the federal government, the “Growth Opportunities Act” will cost around 32 billion euros between 2024 and 2028. The employer-related Cologne Institute of the German Economy (IW) has calculated that the measures are likely to increase investments in Germany by a total of eleven billion euros by 2028.
Criticism from the opposition and countries
The law was approved with the votes of the SPD, Greens and FDP factions. The opposition from the CDU/CSU, the Left Party and the AfD voted unanimously against it because they consider the law to be largely ineffective. The project still needs to be approved by the Federal Council.
CDU budget expert Mathias Middelberg said in the Bundestag that the traffic light government had not yet understood the extent of the economic weakness. The tax measures are not strong enough. The left-wing financial politician Christian Görke spoke of “a few sensible regulations”. But overall the law is an “inefficient and ineffective hodgepodge of different measures.” The AfD politician Kay Gottschalk spoke of a “missed opportunities law”.
SPD financial politician Michael Schrodi, however, said that the coalition had “set the right course for growth, for prosperity, for social justice.” Green finance expert Katharina Beck also said in the debate that the law sets important priorities for investment impulses.
The law has met with clear criticism from the states: They complain that they and the municipalities have to bear two-thirds of the tax relief. The law is therefore likely to go to the mediation committee of the Bundestag and Bundesrat.