Much of the coalition agreement points in the right direction, said employer president Rainer Dulger on Wednesday. Digitization, decarbonization and demographic change, however, require answers and a “big hit,” says Dulger: “Unfortunately, this is not consistently recognizable in the coalition agreement.”
Among other things, the BDA president praised the abandonment of the traffic light to tax increases and the adherence to the debt brake. “Unfortunately, the traffic lights lacked the courage to go beyond the status quo to create new freedoms for companies and employees and to strengthen personal responsibility.”
IG Metall boss Hofmann is “excited”
The employers’ association Gesamtmetall was also positive. The completely new government coalition has the chance to let go of a jolt through the country, said all metal president Stefan Wolf. “We don’t find every project necessary, not every chosen approach promising and some things may be missing, but in total the coalitioners took advantage of the opportunity.”
IG Metall boss Jrg Hofmann welcomed the fact that the future government is facing the great challenge of our time: the socio-ecological transformation. In addition, important issues such as industrial policy, active labor market policy and education are addressed.
However, the proposals for the further development of co-determination are too brief. And the big open question is: “How much additional public investment are necessary and how is it going to be financed? We are curious to see what government realities mean,” said the union leader.
Medium-sized businesses fear additional costs
Cautious criticism came from German industry. Overall, the contract contained too many vague declarations of intent, said Siegfried Russwurm, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). “Here the lion’s share of the work remains to be done.” Russwurm rated positively, among other things, the goal of a modern state. But it is important to push ahead with the implementation “with great ambition”: “The announced decade of future investments must become a reality.”
The coalition agreement was “shaped by a constructive spirit for the future,” said DIHK President Peter Adrian. However, there are still uncertainties for business practice. Above all, “the unclear financing issue for many projects” is critical.
The Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises expressed itself more clearly: The traffic light parties had agreed on the “most expensive common denominator,” said the managing director of the Federal Association of Medium-Sized Enterprises, Markus Jerger. “The bill for this will be paid by the companies and citizens.” The various projects, such as the expansion of renewable energies, can only be financed through new borrowing without tax increases.
BDEW recognizes “a lot of substance”
From various industry associations, there is mainly applause for individual projects of the new government, for example from transport and bus companies, from the aviation industry, the shipbuilding industry and from logisticians as well as from the start-up association or from the computer game industry. The German Hemp Association and the Cannabis Industry Association welcomed the planned controlled distribution of cannabis to adults.
The trade association HDE sees many positive approaches, for example in the area of digitization and the development of inner cities, but criticized the planned increase in the minimum wage: The sudden increase is an interference in the collective agreements of numerous industries.
For the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW), the coalition agreement is reason for optimism: it contains “a lot of substance, for example the planned immediate climate protection program can solve important knots”, said Kerstin Andreae, chairwoman of the BDEW management board. “It is important that the new federal government act quickly.”
Planned reform of the truck toll
The SPD, Greens and FDP want to push through a reform of the truck toll, among other things. As stated in the coalition agreement, a “CO2 differentiation” is to be made in the truck toll in 2023. Commercial road haulage from 3.5 tonnes should be included and a CO2 surcharge introduced on condition that there is no double burden due to the CO2 price. It goes on to say: “We will use the additional income for mobility.”
The truck toll was introduced in Germany in 2005 on the federal motorways and has since been extended to all federal highways. It applies to vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 7.5 tonnes or more. The truck toll brings billions in revenue, which is used to finance the road infrastructure.
Criticism from the Union
The Union parliamentary group has meanwhile criticized the traffic light parties’ plans for future transport policy. Specifically, it is about the plans of the SPD, Greens and FDP to discuss the priorities of the current federal transport plan in a dialogue process. The deputy chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Ulrich Lange (CSU), told the German Press Agency: “With the announced new prioritization, almost all of the approximately 1000 road construction projects, around 70 rail projects and 24 waterway projects that are planned will be questioned across the board.”
Federal and state authorities would have to acutely check “whether the further planning of the respective individual project is actually still worthwhile”. “That is the absolute opposite of planning acceleration, but has the potential to lead to a complete halt that can cost years,” he criticized.
Infrastructure projects require continuity, according to Lange. “It is very worrying how quickly the SPD is now saying goodbye to its stipulations from 2016, which should actually last until 2030. To limit the damage, the new transport minister has to be very clear. This is the only way to avoid the foreseeable delay in the expansion of the transport infrastructure be kept as short as possible. ” (dpa / mer)
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