"Something has gone out of kilter in our country. Germany needs a new balance," said party leader sigmar gabriel at the end of a "future congress" of the SPD parliamentary group. A balance between democracy and the market, the economy and social security, the top and the bottom: 1.3 million postcards are to be sent out to citizens to express their ideas for shaping germany.
The SPD formulates a clear claim to power one year before the federal election. "We are playing to win, not to place," said frank-walter steinmeier, chairman of the parliamentary group. One does not want to end up as a junior partner in a rough coalition. Alongside former finance minister peer steinbruck and party leader gabriel, he is seen as a possible candidate for chancellorship.
Steinbruck called for a "clear edge" against chancellor angela merkel (CDU) and the black-yellow coalition. The SPD must make it clear by the time of the federal elections that certain adjustments must be made in order to make germany fit for the future. "One of the major forces of flight is the division of the labor market," steinbruck emphasized. 25 percent of employees are already in atypical employment, such as temporary and contract work. "These people are drifting into a parallel society."
In addition to minimum wages and equal pay for equal work, the tax code must also be reformed. Steinbruck: "we do not want to increase taxes for everyone. But we can imagine to raise taxes for some of them."This money has to be invested in education first and foremost.
Steinbruck called on the SPD to appear more confident and attack merkel. She is trying to demobilize the SPD electorate with pseudo-social democratic positions, said the former finance minister of the grand coalition to the enthusiastic applause of the 700 listeners. When it comes to issues such as discrimination against homosexual marriages in tax law, the union is clinging to "an idyllic 19th-century biedermeier idyll. Century.". And: the union wants a market conform democracy.
The SPD only wants to promise what is financially feasible for 2013. How we want to live together in germany is the decisive question, said gabriel. "And not how we have to live, as the financial markets want to dictate to us."The time of the alleged lack of alternatives must be over, said the SPD leader with a view to merkel. "We no longer want to be banned from thinking and acting."
Steinmeier said he was sure that black-yellow had also run down in the eyes of most germans. "Red-green, that’s the coalition of the future," SPD faction leader says with conviction. Both parties had already shown in the past that they could change the country in a new and modern way. Steinmeier aggressively defended the reform "agenda 2010" of former chancellor gerhard schroder (SPD). Despite "all her faults," she has ensured that employment in germany is at an all-time high.
The meeting discussed a "modernization program" to be incorporated into a government program – just like the burgers’ proposals. The concept is called "germany 2020 – this is how we want to live tomorrow". On 120 pages, eight working groups commissioned by steinmeier have drawn up proposals on the political course that needs to be taken in germany.
SPD sees no scope for lower taxes and social security contributions. The tax increases approved by the party congress in december will be strengthened. Accordingly, the top tax rate of 49 percent (previously 42 percent) will apply in the future to single persons with annual incomes of 100,000 euros or more. The SPD wants to reintroduce the wealth tax for the particularly wealthy. The estimated additional revenue of 20 billion euros is to be invested primarily in the expansion of education, public infrastructure and the energy turnaround.