Traffic light government: President of the craft sector: There is no confidence in the traffic light coalition

Traffic light government: President of the craft sector: There is no confidence in the traffic light coalition
Traffic light government: President of the craft sector: There is no confidence in the traffic light coalition

The coalition is facing groundbreaking weeks, a draft budget for 2025 is due to be presented – and a growth package. The skilled trades have clear ideas.

Jörg Dittrich, President of the German Crafts Association, has expressed his frustration with the work of the coalition – and called on the traffic light coalition to make decisive decisions for more growth. “Overall, there is a lack of confidence that the federal government will intervene decisively and take the necessary steps to make Germany more competitive again. This is absolutely necessary.”

Negotiations on the 2025 federal budget are underway in the federal government made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP. Several departments do not want to comply with the austerity targets set by Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). A cabinet decision is expected in July. The coalition is also planning a “dynamization package” to stimulate growth.

Dittrich: Training camp necessary

“The constant wrangling and constant back and forth is tiring and to a certain extent frustrating,” said the president of the Central Association of German Crafts with regard to the traffic light coalition. “We are not sufficiently competitive, and it is not enough to buy a new tracksuit. We have to go to training camp.”

More private investment must be encouraged. The tax and levy burden must be reduced. The electricity tax must be reduced to the EU minimum for all consumers, and thus also for all companies. Bureaucracy must be reduced. “Less paperwork, more business, in any case. More confidence in companies and employees again.”

Politics should tackle major issues

Politicians do not dare to tackle the big issues, said Dittrich. The economic policy compass must be realigned. “Craftsmen and women say the three biggest problem areas are the high tax and levy burden, bureaucracy and securing skilled workers,” said the trade association president.

“This makes the mandate for action for politicians clear: Companies and employees must be relieved of their burdens so that they have room to invest again. The reduction in bureaucracy must not just be on paper, but must be felt in everyday business.” In order to secure skilled workers, it is crucial that politicians finally implement the “education turnaround” and create equality: “So that young people can see that skilled trades offer them the chance of a career with meaning, security and a future.”

Crafts: Social security contributions must be reduced

It is also becoming increasingly urgent that a fundamental reform of the social security systems be discussed. “The burdens on companies and employees are simply getting out of hand.” When it comes to social security contributions, however, politicians are stonewalling, with neither the government nor the opposition daring to tackle the issue. “For years we have been warning that contributions will get out of control if we do not fundamentally reform the financing of the social security systems and reduce the burden on wages.”

The labor-intensive trades in particular are at a disadvantage compared to economic sectors in which personnel costs do not account for such a high proportion. “Exactly what we feared is currently happening: Exceeding the 40 percent mark last year was a watershed moment. Since then, social contributions have been rising at a dizzying rate. In just ten years, social contributions are expected to have almost reached the 50 percent mark.”

Source: Stern

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