Germany’s Bundestag parliament is scheduled to vote on Friday on the 2019 draft budget, which totals 356.4 billion euros (405.9 billion dollars) – almost 13 billion euros more than in the current year and a record high.
The coalition government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, comprising her CDU, its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, and the Social Democrats (SPD), aims to boost spending on defence, development aid and social affairs.
It has proposed reductions in health insurance contributions and a rise in pension payments, along with benefits for families, amounting to 9.8 billion euros in total. It also wants to make changes to tax brackets to compensate for inflation.
Opposition parties have charged that Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had only just managed to present a budget with no new net borrowing for the sixth year in a row and that economic growth was set to decline after years of low interest and stable growth.
Peter Boehringer of the opposition far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), who chairs the Bundestag’s budget committee, has charged that the government omitted certain items to balance the books.