BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance of her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), on Monday presented their policy pledges for Germany’s Sept. 24 national election.
The program included a promise to all achieve full employment by the year 2025, which the allies consider to be a jobless rate of less than 3 percent - compared with 5.5 percent now. Those “Economic Miracle” levels of unemployment have not been seen in Germany since the mid-1970s.
Here are some key points from the program:
TAX AND FINANCE
* No new debts
* Reduction in income tax by some 15 billion euros ($17 billion) per year
* Threshold for the top tax rate to be raised to 60,000 euros from 54,000 euros
* Germany and France should seek to harmonize corporate tax rates
ECONOMY AND INVESTMENT
* Full employment by 2025, defined by a jobless rate of less than 3 percent
* Construction of 1.5 million homes during the next parliamentary term
* Raise research and development spending to 3.5 percent/GDP by 2025 from 3 percent now
* “Marshall Plan” with Africa
* Reject full EU membership for Turkey
* Increase spending on development aid and defense budget in 1:1 ratio
* Support an EU defense union
* Increase the number of police nationally by 15,000
* Video surveillance to be increased
* Increase child benefits by 25 euros per child per month
* Tax-free allowance for families with children in two stages, with the first step worth 4 billion euros
* A right to full-day care for primary school children, with government contributing to the costs
Writing by Paul Carrel and Emma Thomasson; Editing by Louise Ireland
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