FDP speaks out against bank bonus tax

The head of the Free Democratic Party's (FDP) parliamentary faction Birgit Homburger has labelled the idea of taxing manager's bonuses "populist," after both Great Britain and France declared their intention to do so.

FDP speaks out against bank bonus tax
Photo: DPA

“Taxing bonuses is populist. People like the idea, but it doesn’t do any good,” Homburger told reporters. “Instead, bank managers should own up to their responsibilities more often.”

Both Great Britain and France have recently announced plans to introduce hefty taxes on manager’s bonuses. A recent assessment by a German parliamentary body has found that the German constitution would allow a special tax of this kind.

A group of German financial institutions – including the biggest of all, Deutsche Bank – have recently agreed to self-regulatory measures to limit excessive bonuses. The pro-business FDP, the junior partner in Germany’s coalition with the Christian Democrat Union, believes that this is sufficient guarantee against the lack of regulation that led to the financial crisis.

Homburger also declared that her party is against a tax on financial markets, an idea recently discussed in the European Union and supported by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“That is not a solution to our problems,” the FDP leader said. “It just affects the small investors again.” Homburger also said that it was not up to the German government to create such a tax, but could only be developed by the international community.

A recent EU summit in Brussels called on the International Monetary Fund to develop a global tax on financial trade. Merkel is in favour of an international stock market sales tax.

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