“The results have to shake things up,” says Foundation Board Member Rainer Kirchdörfer. “In the past few years we have concentrated very heavily on the distribution of wealth – now it is urgent to make Germany more competitive.”
You have to know that someone speaks to Kirchdörfer who knows big family businesses very well. Among other things, he is chairman of the supervisory boards of Bauerfeind and Trox. Kirchdörfer warns of an urgent need for political action on three points in particular: Lower taxes for companies – reduce energy costs – improve infrastructure.
Competitiveness is the key to future prosperity
Siegfried Russwurm sees it very similarly. The former Siemens board member has been President of the Federation of German Industries since January. In a virtual press conference he recently made it clear: “The global competitiveness of Germany as a location is the key to ensuring our success and thus strengthening growth, prosperity and individual opportunities for advancement.”
What is needed are better infrastructure, more incentives for investment, and less bureaucracy. And the tax burden on companies must be reduced to “a competitive 25 percent” of earnings, demanded Russwurm: “The federal government must finally overcome the deadlock in tax policy reform.”
When it comes to taxes, Germany scores particularly poorly in the country index
In fact, Germany achieves its worst individual values in the “Taxes” indicator in the Family Business Country Index, Japan alone does even worse there. “This is largely due to the high corporate taxes in Germany,” the foundation reports, “other countries such as the USA, France and Belgium have improved their competitive position through tax cuts.”
By the way: Germany also lags far behind in the “Complexity of the tax system” sub-indicator. According to the country index, a typical medium-sized company has to spend 218 hours of dearly paid work every year just to “meet tax and social security obligations”. A Swiss company can do this in 63 hours, a company in Austria in 131 hours.