SPD and Greens call on their coalition partner FDP to allow tax increases. SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert spoke in the “Spiegel” for an excess profit tax, since the situation had “changed dramatically” since December. “An excess profit tax would be fair and would correspond to the spirit of the coalition agreement: no additional burden for the top performers in the middle of society,” said Kühnert.

Social Democrats from the left wing also want to burden top earners more. “We have to talk about taxing very high incomes because the state’s relief measures have to be financed,” says Wiebke Esdar, leader of the Parliamentary Left. Juso boss Jessica Rosenthal also advocates a “crisis solo for top earners”. It also supports a wealth levy and an increase in inheritance tax.

The Greens are demanding something similar. “We need a redistribution of hardships. The rich and those who accumulate excess profits will have to give something away,” says Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt. “We are all the state, and that also means that everyone has to contribute”. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) missed a dig: “Anyone who demands overtime like the Finance Minister has not understood what this crisis means for the hard-working population.”

Lindner and the FDP reject tax increases with reference to the coalition agreement, Kühnert contradicts. During the election campaign, he understood the FDP to mean that they wanted to relieve the middle class, he says. “Now, however, we are in the unfair situation that we are burdening perfectly normal earned income with additional contributions to health insurance, because the FDP absolutely does not want to impose any excess profit tax on those who profit from the crisis.” Kühnert wonders “whether that can really be the last word of the liberals”.

Juso boss Rosenthal considers the FDP’s veto to be “irresponsible”. “Christian Lindner has to face reality and stop living in a wonderland for the richest one percent of society,” she says.