The always smiling (and first openly gay) leader of the German Free Democrats, Guido Westerwelle, is pencilled in to become the country’s new foreign minister, after the FDP won its best result in 60 years allowing the center-right Christian Democrats to kick the left-wing SDP out of their governing coalition. The FDP stood for election on a platform committed to promoting free markets and small government. Tax cuts are at the heart of his party’s election programme – he wants the top rate of tax to be cut from
The FDP is promising to cut taxes by up to €35 billion, citing 400 spending cut proposals for the budget, by January 1, next year he wants the basic tax-free threshold to be raised to €8,004 per person, which factoring in other allowances, would mean the average four-person family would only start paying taxes once its earnings exceed €40,000. He wants to financially incentivise taxpayers to have children, whereas in Britain we incentivise welfare claimants to have children. He wants to cut the top rate from 42% to 35%, flattening and simplifying taxes with a starting rate of 10%. George Osborne should note that he is committed to abolishing all federal inheritance taxes. The liberal FDP is allied with the LibDems in the European Parliament. Hopefully Cable and Clegg are taking note of how a liberal third party offering tax cuts succeeds.