Three-quarters of Germans in favour of higher taxes for super-rich

Three-quarters of Germans in favour of higher taxes for super-rich

A substantial majority of people in Germany believe that the government should step in to reduce the gap between rich and poor with higher taxes for the super-wealthy, according to a new poll. 

Three-quarters of Germans in favour of higher taxation for super-rich

The representative survey, produced for a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation on perceptions of justice in Germany, found that almost three-quarters of people feel that there are unfair social differences in the federal republic. As Süddeutsche Zeitung reports, an even higher proportion (72,7 percent) didn’t agree that wealth was “on the whole fairly distributed in Germany today.” 

Many people also seem to have lost faith in the idea that salaries are a good indicator of performance, with only 61,8 percent agreeing with the statement that people in Germany are remunerated according to their performance. 

When asked how the problem should be solved, the majority of survey respondents said that it was a matter for the government. Three-quarters of adults (75,3 percent) agreed with the statement, “The state should make sure that the gap between rich and poor is narrowed.” A further 76,5 percent agreed that a wealth tax for the rich would be good or very good. 

People want to redistribute wealth - just not their own

However, the researchers found that the desire to redistribute wealth decreased somewhat when it came to discussing people’s own finances. Accordingly, only 37 percent of survey respondents would be willing to pay more taxes to ensure that poorer people received more social security from the state. 44,5 percent - the majority - were against such a move. 

Even more interestingly: those with a lower net income proved to be more willing to give some of it towards the goal of redistribution than those with a higher net income. 

The study involved 4.900 people between the ages of 18 and 69 and was conducted in the autumn of 2021. Regarding the rising cost of energy and food, which has spiked in the months since the survey took place, Kai Uznicker, one of the authors of the study, told dpa, “My guess is that what we have seen here has worsened again in recent months.” 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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