Need for action on company tax
Tax cuts for companies in the USA and France have created a new situation in terms of international competition, pointed out Chancellor Angela Merkel at the annual meeting of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA). She thus welcomes the moves by Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier, to reform company tax in Germany.
Strengthening forces for growth
The German government intends to stick to its sound budgetary policy, re-asserted Angela Merkel, with a view to the weaker economic climate. "I think that the current economic phase indicates the need to strengthen forces for growth, rather than rushing into any frantic action."
Companies are called on to master the radical transformation caused by digitalisation. The Chancellor also pointed to the responsibilities of state and local governments, which should ensure swifter planning and approval procedures for infrastructure development projects.
Importance of climate action emphasised
Angela Merkel defended the government’s climate action against criticism. Although she agrees that acting in haste is not the right thing to do, there is a limit on the carbon dioxide emissions we can allow.
Otherwise global warming well above the two-degree Celsius mark is unavoidable. "It is difficult to forecast the impacts this would have on our economic activity, and the damage it would cause," said the Chancellor.
Summit on skilled worker immigration
Angela Merkel announced a summit on skilled worker immigration to be held in December. The German government, she said, wanted to discuss with employers and trade unions how the new Skilled Worker Immigration Act (Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz) can have a rapid impact. The German chambers of commerce abroad and the Federal Foreign Office are to cooperate on skilled worker immigration.
Compromise on basic pension
In her speech at the annual meeting of the BDA, the Chancellor also touched on the compromise reached on a basic pension. If someone has worked for 35 years and has just as little at the end of the day as somebody who has never worked an hour in their life, there is a problem, because that is not fair. "And we must respond to this. That is what we have now tried to do."
The BDA (Confederation of German Employers’ Associations) is to top-level association of the German private sector, and deals with labour and social policy issues affecting the sector. The annual meeting is attended by about 1,500 representatives of the realms of politics, business and civil society. The core responsibility of the BDA is to represent the interests of its members in the field of social policy.