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German economic adviser calls for higher taxes to fund Ukraine war

Monika Schnitzer, the German Council of Economic Experts Chairwoman (File photo)

A German economic adviser has proposed a tax increase to fund Ukraine in its proxy war against Russia, as popular support for the government continues to decrease in Germany.

Monika Schnitzer, the German Council of Economic Experts Chairwoman, told the Rheinische Post on Saturday that the government should approve a “Ukraine surcharge” on citizens.

She said the Ukrainian “solidarity surcharge” levied on top of the existing income tax would help meet Kiev’s urgent financial needs.

Schnitzer, who leads the German economic advisory council better known as the “five wise men,” insisted the tax was nevertheless “necessary,” arguing that it would be wiser to act now as “at the end of the day, our freedom is also at stake in this war.”

“Special events require special measures,” the top economic expert added.

Her proposed suggestions to the German government for adding to its income were set forth as the Economic Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck announced Berlin’s decision to assume a greater role and accept more financial responsibility to support Ukraine.

Berlin has already allocated €8 billion in its 2024 budget to fund the Ukrainian military and support refugees.

Last week, however, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged that additional support would be forthcoming for Kiev, “just as we planned, and, above all, for as long as necessary.”

This comes as popular support for the government continues to decrease in Germany, and the ruling “traffic light coalition” has been polling at record lows.

An opinion poll conducted by the ARD-DeutschlandTrend earlier this month showed that 82 percent of the respondents in the survey were disappointed with the government’s weak performance.

Separately, 70 percent of the Germans surveyed earlier this week by the Verian Opinion Research Institute said the German government is doing a “rather bad” or “very bad” job.

Germany is a major contributor to Ukraine, shelling out billions of Euros worth of tanks, rockets, and anti-missile systems to Kiev.

However, overall US-led Western support for Kiev has begun to fade. Earlier this month, the European Union held its annual budget negotiations where EU leaders failed to agree on a proposed €50 billion ($54bn) financial aid package for Ukraine.

In past months, Kiev’s backers in Washington have been unable to approve further financial support through the Republican-dominated Congress.

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