Dispute over ‘basic inheritance’: equal opportunity through €20,000 for all 18-year-olds?

Germany The debate over “primary inheritance”

20,000 euros for all 18-year-olds? This idea of ​​the SPD irritated even the SPD

Internal Policy Intern / Axel Springer Academy of Journalism and Technology

Paying all 18-year-olds should create equal opportunities, according to the proposal Paying all 18-year-olds should create equal opportunities, according to the proposal

Paying all 18-year-olds should create equal opportunities, according to the proposal

Source: Photo Alliance / Zoonar

Federal Commissioner for the East, Carsten Schneider, is proposing a “basic inheritance” for all. Except for the Greens, everyone is walking away from the SPD guy’s lead. The left even sees a “joke of a bourgeois poet” in favor of millionaires.

aKarsten Schneider (SPD) believes that everyone should inherit. The Commissioner of the Federal Government of East Germany proposes a so-called core heritage. Specifically: €20,000 for everyone over the age of 18 in Germany. “It is no longer possible for a large portion of the population to own real estate, especially in big cities,” Schneider said of Funk Media Group newspapers. Basic inheritance can create more equal opportunities after school. This should be funded through the inheritance tax for the particularly wealthy.

The SPD reacted cautiously to the initiative by prominent politicians on Thursday. Faction circles said basic inheritance was “not a problem” at the moment. Equality of opportunity is important for the parliamentary group, but the current coalition agreement is adhered to.

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On the other hand, the Green Party supports Schneider’s proposal. “Being able to shape life after school in a self-limiting way, with a startup, a course of study, a voluntary social year or even with the often high cost of living combined with vocational training,” depends a lot on the parents inside, According to Katharina Beck, a spokeswoman for fiscal policy for the Green Party in Germany’s Bundestag. Beck also sees a need to reform the inheritance tax, “especially in the case of very large inheritances”.

However, critical tones can also be heard from the coalition of traffic lights. “The younger generation does not want to depend on gifts from the state, but wants to build something for themselves,” said Jens Teutrine WELT. A spokesperson for the Free Democratic Party’s Citizens Money Group welcomed the measure against generational inequality. “However, the solution cannot be to spend 20,000 euros on everyone who has a watering can.”

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Instead of tax increases to fund the idea, Teutrine is calling for an estate transfer tax exemption or a savings allowance increase. For a more equitable starting opportunity, the education system must be modernized and the false, disheartening incentives for the welfare state abolished.

The idea of ​​renting land is by no means new. The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) raised demand only last year. According to the researchers’ calculations, the project could “significantly reduce” social inequality in Germany. The financing must therefore be done through inheritance and wealth tax in order to cover the total annual costs of 15 billion euros.

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Today, millionaires are still “often male, middle-aged or older, have no immigrant background, come from West Germany, are well educated and often self-employed,” DIW President Marcel Fracher noted in Zeit. In 2020. French economist Thomas Piketty even went one step further and called for €120,000 to be paid to all 25-year-olds.

Jan Corte of the Left Group said Schneider’s idea seemed “fascinating at first glance”. However, the Director-General of Parliament wants the possible 15 billion euros to be used “more precisely against social inequality”, for example “through basic income-based child insurance and standard higher rates for Hartz IV and basic old-age insurance”.

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However, according to Kurt, it seemed like a “corrupt joke” to return the higher-tax income of the wealthy “on the spot to the families of millionaires.” “People who are born with a golden spoon in their mouth don’t really need sugar in their ass.”

On the other hand, the AfD sees Schneider on the “boardwalk”. Parliamentary Group Leader Alice Fidel: “Redistributing private property to others is not a proper way to achieve real, lasting prosperity.” Instead, the state must ensure that citizens “keep what they earn in their pockets.” It was not possible to obtain a comment from the Al-Ittihad faction.

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