Traffic light budget holders demand review of subsidies for shipowners

Photo: A buoy in the sea (archive), via dts news agency

Berlin (dts) – Politicians from the traffic light parties have apparently called on the federal government to evaluate tax privileges worth billions for shipping companies. This is reported by “Spiegel”.

In the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag, representatives of the three coalition factions SPD, FDP and Greens called on their own federal government to examine the practice of tonnage taxation. The amount of the tax is based on the size and volume of the ships and not on the actual income generated.

The reason for the demand passed on Wednesday is a recent report by the Federal Audit Office, which had criticized the billion-euro gift for the shipowners. 14 years after the last review in 2009, "this evaluation should be presented to the Budget Committee as a report by September 2, 2024," according to the so-called resolution.

The aim of the evaluation is therefore likely to be to raise additional funds for the budget. The report should explain "what impact various options for changing" the taxation, which has remained unchanged for more than 20 years, will have "on Germany as a business and shipping location, the labor market and the federal budget," the resolution states.

According to the report of the Federal Audit Office, abolishing the tax privilege could potentially plug budget holes on a large scale. The shortfall in revenue would have amounted to 2022 billion euros in 11,1.

"This is now a very high subsidy," said the Greens' budget spokesman, Sven-Christian Kindler, to the news magazine. "We will then look at the report very closely," he announced.