Chancellor Olaf Scholz had proposed a tax-free one-off payment from employers. Criticism comes not only from the opposition, but also from a coalition partner.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) plan for a tax-free one-off payment to employees in the fight against inflation is met with widespread rejection, including by the Green coalition partner.

“It has to be answered why people with very high incomes should receive state support in companies that make good profits,” said the Greens parliamentary group Vice President Andreas Audretsch the Ippen-Media network. It also remains open how the self-employed or employees in non-tariff companies should be helped.

Scholz proposes a tax-free one-off payment by employers. In return, the unions should accept lower wage increases in collective bargaining rounds. The state and the social partners would pull together. The “Bild am Sonntag” had reported on this, and the plans were confirmed to the German Press Agency. The idea behind this is to prevent so-called second-round effects, which could lead to a wage-price spiral and thereby further fuel high inflation. On July 4th, Scholz wants to start a dialogue with employers and unions, the so-called concerted action.

Criticism from trade unions and opposition

Several unions had already rejected the proposal. The President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Marcel Fratzscher, criticized in the “Augsburger Allgemeine”: “One-time aid will only help in the short term, but will not be able to relieve people with low incomes permanently.” Higher wages and social benefits are therefore the only sustainable way.

Other negative voices also came from the opposition. CSU financial politician Sebastian Brehm told the editorial network Germany: “Scholz is trying to cover up the fact that his coalition is going completely haphazardly on the summer break when it comes to further relief.” Pensioners and students also received nothing from the Chancellor’s plan.

The new co-chairman of the Left Party, Martin Schirdewan, said in an interview with RTL/ntv: “The unions must go into the forthcoming collective bargaining with high demands so that inflation and the development of purchasing power for employees are cushioned.”