Germany’s cabinet has agree to press ahead with plans for a balanced budget over the next four years.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, presenting his budget for next year, said Britain’s vote to leave the EU changes nothing with, for the moment, no negative effects on the German economy, Europe’s largest.
Though he added “We’ll see if that remains the case.”
On his draft budget, Schaeuble told reporters: “I believe it is clear that we will stick to our solid, reliable budget policy, and which contributed to the economic development in our country which is positive despite difficulties in our environment. We have an exceptionally good situation on the labour market with a high employment rate and low unemployment.”
No race to the bottom
Asked about his British counterpart George Osborne’s proposal to slash business tax in the UK to encourage investment and ease business concerns, Schaeuble said he opposes a race of competitive tax cuts in Europe but wants to hear more from Osborne: “We will meet at the EcoFin gathering next week and I hope we will then hear explanations. In Europe we don’t intend to start a new race to the bottom, that makes no sense.”
Post Brexit, Berlin wants to send a message of “reliability and continuity” contrasting with Osborne having to abandon his goal of eliminating Britain’s budget deficit by 2020.