SPD chairman sigmar gabriel rejected the demand as completely nonsensical. In the "neue osnabrucker zeitung" (wednesday), he rejected the idea of the state interfering in the private lives of people who had decided not to have children or were unable to have them for a variety of reasons.
Gabriel spoke out in favor of converting the marital splitting system in tax law into a family splitting system that would benefit all families with children. Germany must also finally get away from "ennobling" child benefits for wealthy parents. Those on very high incomes would benefit from the child allowance, while low-income earners would not. "Children must be worth the same in all salary groups," gabriel stressed.
Members of the CDU/CSU led by saxony parliamentarian marco wanderwitz had called for childless people over 25 to be taxed on a percentage basis according to their income. The levy should be graduated according to the number of children. Childless people should pay in full, parents with one child half, parents with several children nothing. After widespread support from all parties, chancellor merkel, the leader of the cdu, conceded to the opposition from within her own party. "I believe that the discussion about dividing people into those with children and those without is not appropriate here," she said in berlin.
Thuringia’s minister president christine lieberknecht (CDU) also rejects the idea outright. "I don’t think much of it, because the reasons people don’t have children are very, very different," she told the online edition of the "mitteldeutsche zeitung" newspaper. An additional levy is unnecessary. "We already have higher taxes for childless people." Ex-SPD leader franz muntefering told the newspaper though: "the debate is justified."After all, 30 percent of those born after 1970 are childless. Muntefering, however, argued for the same approach as gabriel: "spousal splitting must go and be changed in the direction of a solution that favors families with children. Moreover, preschool had to be free of charge."
The women’s policy spokeswoman of the FDP parliamentary group, nicole bracht-bendt, also rejected the proposal from the ranks of the union. "Instead of introducing forced abortions for childless people, families with children should have advantages in everyday life", she told the "berliner zeitung" (wednesday). "Tax concessions for the purchase of a coarse family car were supporting families. And why are diapers still taxed at 19 percent and flowers at 7 percent??"
Support, on the other hand, came from the german family association. "It is not a question of punishing childless people," said its federal managing director siegfried stresing to the "allgemeine zeitung" in mainz. "It is a matter of finally putting an end to transfer exploitation at the expense of families. Child-dependent social security contributions are not a lenient family claim. They are a question of justice."
The president of the munich ifo institute, hans-werner sinn, argued in the "frankfurter allgemeine zeitung" (wednesday) for a pension reform that favors large families and places a heavier burden on the childless. There is a massive redistribution from families to childless people in germany. "It is only appropriate to try to reduce this redistribution by leaving a greater share of the economic benefits of children in the families whose deprivations in raising children give rise to those benefits in the first place," sinn said.