Germans Supports Reintroduction of Wealth Tax

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Even among the rich, an awareness has developed that money should be distributed more equitably.

On Tuesday, the Stern magazine published a survey showing that the majority of Germans supports the reintroduction of a wealth tax, which has been the subject of debate since it was abolished in 1997.

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Two out of three citizens, or 62 percent, favors private individuals and companies having to pay such a tax on assets of one million euros (US$1.08 million) or more, the Forza survey found.

Approval of the idea also spans different political camps, with majorities among voters from left-wing, social, and conservative voter groups. Only voters from the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) are largely against such a move.

The gap between the rich and the poor in Europe’s largest economy is widening. According to a recent Oxfam study, the wealth of the five richest Germans has grown by 74 percent to US$155 billion since 2020. The richest 1 percent alone owns 41.1 percent of the country’s total financial assets.

67% of adults in G20 countries believe there’s too much economic inequality, with 70% supporting higher taxes for the rich. Strongest support for a wealth tax comes from Indonesia, Turkey, the UK & India. Around 2/3 in the US, France & Germany favor it https://t.co/dhonruItee pic.twitter.com/0T92qVYq7e

— Inter Press Service (@ipsnews) July 7, 2024

France, Spain, and Switzerland still levy a wealth tax, but even among the rich, an awareness has developed that money should be distributed more equitably.

An initiative called “taxmenow” has been formed by wealthy people in German-speaking countries who are calling for higher taxation. Many other organizations are also campaigning for the reintroduction of the wealth tax.

“It is time for the super-rich in this country to finally take greater responsibility and make their contribution to a fair society,” said Verena Bentele from the VdK social association. 

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