Union: tax discussions before the closed meeting. – Politics

Thursday will be time to talk about the election manifesto – and the promised tax cuts. Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet is expected in Kloster Seeon, the CDU leader comes to the closed meeting of the sister party CSU. The host made it clear in advance on Tuesday that he – unlike the chancellor candidate – can remember the promises that are recorded in the election manifesto. “Tax cuts are at the heart of our tax policy. This is clearly reflected in the joint election program,” said Söder Süddeutsche Zeitung. The discharge in particular contributes to the uniqueness of the Union. “Tax relief is the basic philosophy of the Union – that is the difference to the political left: Greens want to increase taxes, we want to reduce them.”

The fact that Söder distances himself so clearly shows that he will have been annoyed about the appearance of the candidate in the ARD summer interview. Laschet had surprisingly stated that his basic message was: “No tax relief at the moment. We don’t have the money for that”. There is also “not a single tax break” in the program.

Söder tried to make it clear on Tuesday that “the election program applies to both parties”. So also the relief contained therein. In terms of financial feasibility, it applies that it should take place “gradually”. “After the election, an opening financial balance sheet and then priorities are set. For the CSU, relieving the burden on medium-sized businesses and crafts is a top priority.” The economy can be supported “only through tax cuts”, they are “the central element of the entire economic policy of the Union”. These included the final abolition of the solidarity surcharge, the gradual lowering of corporate taxes to 25 percent and the energy levy to almost zero as well as depreciation for digital and climate investments as well as higher loss returns.

“You can see from Seeon how much union there will be in this election campaign,” said CSU General Secretary Markus Blume the other day. If you take him at his word, you have to state that the election campaign of the CDU and CSU may not contain as much union as the party leaders recently assured when they presented their joint election program in Berlin. The monastery in Seeon is not as symbolically charged as the conference center in Wildbad Kreuth, where the CSU held its exams until a few years ago. But it now blows a little through Seeon, the notorious “Spirit of Kreuth”, who always meant a certain Bavarian spirit of contradiction.

The CSU wants a higher maternal pension and home office flat rate

Söder had already made it clear in May that the CDU and CSU would not agree on all points with a view to the federal election. He called the joint election program an “aircraft carrier” and announced that the CSU would set up a “Schnellboot” next to it, that is, its own program, “with special mobilization ideas”. In the meantime, a lot is known about the equipment of the speedboat. The higher maternal pension, the permanent reduction in VAT in the catering trade, a home office flat rate of 1000 euros. All points for which, according to reports, the CDU could not be won.

General Secretary Blume calls the retreat in Seeon the “warm-up program for the election campaign”. He speaks of “very strong milestones” that his party wants to set. At its conference, the CSU wants to adopt a position paper that contains concrete proposals for financial relief. These demands should then flow into the separate CSU program.

In spite of this stubbornness, one can assume from the CSU leaders that they were quite willing to keep their spirit of contradiction in the bottle in Seeon. The party already showed its willingness to demonstrate demonstrative unity with the invitation to Laschet. In order not to produce images of disharmony, the CSU has called an additional board meeting for the coming week at Tegernsee, in order to then present its own election program in front of the mountain panorama without Laschet. But now Sunday has thwarted the harmony plans, Laschet’s summer interview, and there is great anger at the top of the CSU.

The fact that the CSU has now broken its resolution to harmony to a certain extent could also have something to do with the latest polls. In the 2017 federal election, the CSU had already lost votes, but still got almost 39 percent in Bavaria. The latest forecasts predict only 36 percent. The CSU is still convinced that the Rhinelander Laschet will not be a magnet in Bavaria. Perhaps that’s why you decided to show a little more personal profile at short notice. The CSU is particularly sensitive to tax policy. She would like to use the topic to differentiate herself from the Greens, who Söder regards as the main competitor.

A dispute between the sister parties would be harmful

As can be heard from party circles, the CSU leadership assumes that Laschet will withdraw his remarks on tax policy before the meeting in Seeon. That should also be in the interests of the CSU, since the party had to experience not only once how harmful an open dispute with the sister party can be. Most recently in 2018, when the asylum dispute raged, which for Söder was also a reason that the CSU slumped to 37 percent in the state elections in the same year.

Either way, it should not be easy for Söder and Laschet to demonstrate unity in Seeon. Because of the corona policy, the two prime ministers are crossed again. On Tuesday, after the meeting of the Bavarian cabinet, a journalist asked for Söder’s opinion on Laschet’s strategy of opening discos in regions with single-digit incidence values ​​in North Rhine-Westphalia. Söder refrained from broader criticism. What he said was also so clear: “We’re not doing this.”


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