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Vermögensabgaben: ein Beitrag zur Sanierung der Staatsfinanzen in Europa

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  • Stefan Bach

Abstract

Ever since the financial and economic crisis of 2008/2009, public debt in almost all OECD countries has increased significantly. The European debt crisis has further intensified over the past few weeks. Private households with high levels of wealth and income could be enlisted to help with refinancing and reducing this public debt through forced loans and one-off capital levies, without a risk of slowdown in consumer demand. This would also counteract the increased inequality in the distribution of wealth. Imposing such levies is not easy, however, since it involves valuation of assets and preventing tax avoidance and evasion. It is difficult to estimate the revenue effects of such a levy for the countries in crisis due to the current lack of sufficient data. For Germany, simulations by DIW Berlin based on a personal allowance of 250 000 euros (500 000 euros for married couples) give a tax base of 92 percent of the GDP. A forced loan or a levy of, for example, ten percent of this tax base could thus mobilize just over nine percent of the GDP-around 230 billion euros. This would affect the richest eight percent of the adult population. It would presumably also be possible to generate considerable revenue in the European crisis countries in the same way. This would be an important step towards consolidation of public finances, and would facilitate reforms to promote growth. Seit der Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise 2008/2009 sind die Staatsschulden in fast allen OECD-Ländern deutlich gestiegen. Die Europäische Schuldenkrise hat sich in den letzten Wochen wieder verschärft. Mit Zwangsanleihen und einmaligen Vermögensabgaben könnten Privathaushalte mit hohen Vermögen und Einkommen zur Refinanzierung und zum Abbau der Staatsschulden herangezogen werden, ohne dass eine Dämpfung der Konsumnachfrage zu befürchten wäre. Damit würde auch der gestiegenen Ungleichheit in der Vermögensverteilung entgegengewirkt. Die Erhebung solcher Abgaben ist aber nicht einfach, da die Vermögenswerte ermittelt sowie Steuerflucht und -hinterziehung unterbunden werden müssen. Die Schätzung der Aufkommenseffekte solcher Abgaben für die Krisenländer ist mangels Daten nur schwer möglich. Für Deutschland ergeben Simulationsrechnungen des DIW Berlin bei einem persönlichen Freibetrag von 250 000 Euro (Ehepaare 500 000 Euro) eine Bemessungsgrundlage von 92 Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts. Eine Zwangsanleihe oder eine Abgabe in Höhe von zum Beispiel zehn Prozent auf diese Bemessungsgrundlage könnten somit gut neun Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts - rund 230 Milliarden Euro - mobilisieren. Betroffen wären die reichsten acht Prozent der erwachsenen Bevölkerung. Vermutlich lassen sich in den europäischen Krisenländern auf diesem Weg ebenfalls erhebliche Einnahmen erzielen. Damit wäre ein wichtiger Schritt zu einer Konsolidierung der öffentlichen Haushalte getan, und wachstumsfördernde Reformen würden erleichtert.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal DIW Wochenbericht.

Volume (Year): 79 (2012)
Issue (Month): 28 ()
Pages: 3-11

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwob:79-28-1

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Keywords: Public debt; forced loan; capital levy;

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