German conservatives reject tax hikes in draft election manifesto

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Germany’s conservatives plan to rule out tax hikes in their election manifesto, a draft obtained by Reuters showed, aligning them with their preferred liberal coalition partners and distinguishing them from their main rivals.

The conservative alliance of the Christian Democrats (CDU) and Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) aims to use its presentation of the manifesto next Monday to widen its lead over the ecologist Greens ahead of a Sept. 26 federal election.

“We clearly reject tax increases,” read the CDU/CSU bloc’s draft manifesto, which top CDU officials discussed at the weekend.

Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, in power since 2005, is stepping down after September’s election, and senior CDU officials concede privately that it will be tough to retain their party’s appeal to voters after 16 years in charge.

The draft showed they also want to abolish a “solidarity tax” – introduced after reunification to support poorer states in eastern Germany – “as soon as possible”, and to reduce the number of people who have to pay the top tax rate of 42%.

via Reuters