Countries have to pay more themselves

The countries must feel the financial consequences of their Corona actions. Only then will they have an interest in comparing all measures to the state’s performance.

Germany spends billions over billions on Corona aid.

When the federal and state governments negotiate the corona policy, a result is certain beforehand: only the federal government is responsible for the economic consequences of new resolutions to protect health, although the states largely determine the decisions.

What is new is that the Union side of the coalition grumbles about the lack of burden sharing. Without success: After the November aid, the federal government is also lifting the even more expensive sales replacement in December and piling up a further 20 billion euros in debt. With no end in sight of the partial closure of the economy, the spectacle of the countries holding up their coffers is likely to repeat itself in January.

The Chancellor glossed over the situation

Even the Union-governed states are not prepared to give more than Söder’s “Thank you” to the federal government. The SPD minister-presidents coolly refer to the possibility of the federal government to get the money back from “strong shoulders” via a burden equalization tax or a corona solidarity surcharge.

So they almost happily push a topic that is supposed to help the Social Democrats in the election campaign. The federal states’ financial no-me attitude is damaging the state.

The financial constitution provides the federal and state governments with roughly half the revenue from the most important taxes so that they can perform their tasks effectively. A strong solidarity element is added via the financial equalization so that economically weak regions are not left behind. It was also correct that the federal government willingly stepped into the breach with the outbreak of the pandemic. He used his creditworthiness to take out new loans – and showed his solidarity through high inflows of billions to countries and social security funds.

Now it is worse off than the federal states, as the tax forecast shows. Because, despite the progress made in the vaccine, it is still unclear how long the pandemic will last, it must be found back to half the burden-sharing. Only when the countries feel the financial consequences of their Corona actions are they interested in putting all measures in relation to the performance of the state.

The Chancellor warns that the generous aid cannot be continued “until the end of the month”. That glosses over the situation. If the next decisions are not financially more targeted and more effective in terms of health policy, the end of the day is closer than many would like to admit.