Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has spoken out against an excess profit tax on extra profits from oil companies from the Ukraine war. “I can only warn against populism at this point,” said Lindner on Tuesday in Berlin. “We don’t know if there are excess profits.” Tax increases could lead to shortages at the pump. “The shortages would then increase the prices even more.”

A surplus tax was discussed by parts of their coalition partners, the SPD and the Greens. “There is a great danger that the opposite of what the proponents want will be achieved,” said Lindner. His concern is that an “arbitrary tax increase” for a single industry will ultimately make things more expensive in Germany. The cartel office must check what is happening at the pump.

“I totally understand the anger about what’s at the pump,” the minister said. However, reacting to a world market development with an additional tax only in Germany could ultimately lead to prices at the pump rising even further. However, this would call into question legal certainty in the tax system in Germany.

“Anyone who starts changing tax law for noble reasons or because they want to get the applause of the day at the regulars’ table will never get the genie back in the bottle,” said Lindner. In Germany there is a tax on profits, but no discrimination in individual sectors.

According to Lindner, he could not “officially” confirm that there were so-called excess profits at all. There are assumptions, but these also exist in the area of ​​wind power and solar power or semiconductors.

Lindner generally warned against higher taxes and a debate about relaxing the debt brake in the Basic Law. “I consider the current discussion to be dangerous with regard to the development of inflation and the economic recovery in our country.” In order to combat inflation, tax increases must be prevented. Lindner also criticized Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) for speaking about the increase in the price of food.

In addition, the federal government must return to the debt brake as soon as possible. Lindner also said that there would be further targeted relief for the whole of society. “That’s why we should talk about a reform of wage and income tax next year and about basic security.”