Christian Lindner: What is the top candidate planning for Germany with his FDP? (Source: Xander Heinl / photothek.de / imago images)
The FDP’s program for the federal election is entitled: “There has never been more to do.” Here is a brief overview of the party’s most important plans for the 2021 federal election.
The FDP is expressly committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. That is why the party is campaigning for more climate protection, but this should primarily be controlled by the free market. The idea of the liberals looks like this: Politicians decide how much CO2 one can use per year – certificates should then be acquired for this. In the opinion of the FDP, those who still do not want to protect the climate should pay a lot of money for it. Emissions trading is to be expanded, with a uniform CO2 price across Europe.
Economy / jobs
Directly on the first page of the content of the program is the heading “Securing the social market economy and strengthening the economy”. The program says that the economy should be “unleashed”. The liberals believe that the economy must now be boosted, especially after the cuts in the Corona crisis. The trade tax is to be abolished entirely and the corporate tax burden is to be reduced to 25 percent, which would be around 5 to 6 percent less than at present. In addition, there should be fewer rules for allocation and information provisions – if a new rule is adopted there, two others should be abolished in the opinion of the FDP.
The FDP considers it right to set the retirement age flexibly in the future – so that everyone has the individual freedom to work longer without bureaucratic effort. “Grandchildren’s pension” is called in the program. Overall, the structure of the pension should be handled more flexibly, the program speaks of a “modular principle”. This means that statutory, company and private pension schemes could be combined with one another. Those who retire earlier receive less pension – and those who work longer work accordingly more.
It is a classic demand of the FDP: the call for tax cuts. Accusingly it says in the program: “Germany is among the best in the world when it comes to taxes and social security contributions.” In the opinion of the Liberals, the burden on middle and low incomes could be significantly more relieved in the future. The FDP would like to achieve this, among other things, by shifting the top tax rate. Gradually it is to be increased to 90,000 euros.
Social / living
The federal debt ratio is to be reduced – below 60 percent of the gross domestic product. Therefore, in the future, social spending should be capped; according to the FDP, they should amount to a maximum of 50 percent of the federal budget. In addition, there should be more affordable housing for people with low incomes. A “housing benefit” should make it easier to find an affordable apartment.
Digitization / services of general interest
Party leader Christian Lindner has been explaining for years that there is a large deficit in digitization in Germany. Unsurprisingly, there is the sentence in the election manifesto: “Let us use the opportunities offered by digitization for ourselves.” A federal ministry for “digital transformation” is to be set up, the mobile network connection is to be more extensive and private households are to receive so-called gigabit vouchers: This will offset part of the costs that arise when converting to gigabit.
Migration / integration
The FDP wants to introduce a so-called points system for people who want to live permanently in Germany. A distinction is made between the “Blue Card”, i.e. the direct way in which workers can immigrate as skilled workers. In addition, there should be a “chance card” for people who qualify in Germany and learn the language and a profession.
Flight and immigration should be differentiated from one another. War refugees should receive protection in Germany – but only until the crisis in their country is over. If this is the case, the FDP wants a consistent return.
Foreign and Security Policy
In the election manifesto of the FDP you can find the sentence: “Together with our European partners we want to work for the preservation of our free way of life in Europe and the protection of peace and human rights internationally.” To this end, multilateralism is to be strengthened so that a global fight against pandemics will continue to be more successful and the states will network more closely with one another.
A newly established “National Security Council” is to represent the hub for international relations. According to the Liberals, European foreign policy must be better coordinated overall.