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Germany

Opposition Leader Promotes Own Tax Reforms

Christian Democrat Friedrich Merz has calculated that his alternative tax reforms proposals would save taxpayers €5-10 billion ($5.8-11.7 billion), according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily. The deputy parliamentary group leader's suggestions to radically simplify the tax system call for merely three tax brackets. People who earned less than €8,000 would be exempt from paying taxes. In the lowest bracket they would pay 12 percent of their income in taxes. Earnings above €16,000 would be taxed by 24 percent and the highest bracket for people earning beyond €40,000 would be taxed by 36 percent. Merz has said he would cut nearly all deductions. He calculates that taxpayers would pay €45 billion less, while the state would receive €35-40 billion more by slashing deductions and other perks. Merz is expected to present his plans to party leaders on Monday.