Housing, purchasing power, the battle against poverty and tax politics: These were the topics discussed in the official round table on Sunday afternoon.
For over one and a half hours representatives from 10 parties talked about taxes and how to make Luxembourg more attractive to foreigners.
To guarantee that companies will want to say in Luxembourg, Lex Delles, Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, and member of the Democratic Party (DP), thinks we need to have a more advantageous taxation for companies.
"Our tax rate is above the EU average, and also above the average in the OECD. Therefore we have to lower those 25% in order to be on a par with the average."
But for Josée Lorsché from the Green Party, tax rate is not the only thing that matters.
"We think that the attractiveness of Luxembourg for companies depends on many different factors, such as our good geographical location, that administrative channels are comparatively short and that we are a peaceful country."
A statement that Christophe Hansen from the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) would not agree with.
"We are no longer the country of short channels. When it comes to establishing a company in Luxembourg, and especially when it comes to housing. We absolutely need to set new priorities and give administrations new deadlines. We need new contact points to make this happen again."
For Dan Biancalana from the Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) an important part of the attractiveness of Luxembourg is also creating more trade jobs.
"It is important to creative perspectives for handicraft as well. It is also important the state support them in their transition to become more ecological, sustainable, and digital."
Another subject of the debate was tax equity for the population. Almost every party, except for the Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR), is in favour of individualising taxes, thus axing the tax brackets.
Fernand Kartheiser arguments that over-individualising would, in the long run, also remove the notion of the family from the texts and from our society. "We are a party that wants to protect the family, that is a good societal model for us."
Introducing an inheritance tax is a measure that is upsetting to many. The Left Party is all for it. David Wagner explains how his party imagines the implementation.
"Any inheritance under 1.5 million will be free of tax. We want people to be able to keep a house or an appartment that they might inherit. These are not super-rich people. These are middle class people, and they should be able to keep their house or appartment."
The Liberté-Fräiheet party is against all kind of tax increase. He questions why we need to spend money on international causes.
Bas Schagen arguments: "We think that we spend a lot of money, that we do not really need to spend. For example, the war. Right now we are talking about problems that we have in our own country. And I think we have enough problems here. So we should start by making sure that everything is going well over here first."
In Luxembourg, it's hard to find a campaign where the indexation is not a topic of discussion. Fränk Engel from Fokus explains how the index system could be improved.
"We have a proposition, we were say that at the bottom of the table: There'd be a 3% indexation instead of 2.5%, so that people would get 2.5% net. And then we keep this for the rest of the table, so that when we reach an income of 250,000 euros or around that, no more indexation is granted."
This is an idea that Eduardo Tiberi from the communist party (KPL) does not think to be a good one.
"I’m surprised you’re coming to the table with this proposition. He [Fränk Engel] has spent all his time with the CSV (Christian Social People's Party) doing the opposite of what he is saying now. He will probably sing a different tune, every time the opinion in the room changes."
To increase the population's purchasing power, the Pirate Party proposes to remove tax from various products. Sven Clement stated:
"For instance, we would very much like to take a chance with the EU Commission when it comes to making organic products VAT-free. We are firmly convinced that this is not only in the best interest of citizens, but also in the interest of the planet."
Or watch it below:
Representatives of the 10 parties
Dan Biancalana – LSAP
Lex Delles – DP
Josée Lorsché – Gréng
Christophe Hansen – CSV
David Wagner – Lénk
Fernand Kartheiser – ADR
Sven Clement – Piraten
Fränk Engel – Fokus
Edoardo Tiberi – KPL
Bas Schagen – Liberté-Fräiheet